An Australian street artist responded to complaints over a mural he produced depicting Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in a sexy swimsuit by painting over the figure a body-covering traditional Muslim niqab.
The artist, known as Lushsux, left only the staring eyes of Clinton peering out from the all-black garb, The Guardian reported Tuesday.
In a corner of the reworked mural he sprayed: “If this Muslim woman offends u, u r a bigot, racist, sexist Islamophobe.”
Posting to his Instagram photo-sharing account, Lushux wrote, “this is no longer a wall of a supposed ‘offensive and near naked’ Hillary Clinton, it is now a depiction of a beautiful Muslim woman.”
The original provocative mural was painted on the wall of a small business in the Melbourne suburb of Footscray, and reports said the business was asked by the local Maribyrnong Council to remove it.
This is no longer a wall of a supposed "offensive and near naked" Hillary Clinton, a beautiful Muslim woman. pic.twitter.com/M7Uzr4gqBC
— @lushsux (@lushsux) August 1, 2016
“We believe it is offensive because of the depiction of a near-naked woman, not on the basis of disrespect to Hillary Clinton, in accordance with the Graffiti Prevention Act 2007,” the council’s chief executive Stephen Wall told Fairfax Media on Friday.
“We contacted Victoria police to provide their opinion on the matter, and they deemed the mural to be offensive and in contravention of the Graffiti Prevention Act 2007, which council is responsible for enforcing.”
Lushsux accused the council of being out of control, telling Fairfax the mural was “on par offense-wise” with a deodorant ad.
Speaking to Melbourne radio, Lushsux said he suspected that his Instagram account, which he said had some 110,000 followers, was deleted over a photo of the raunchy Hillary image.
“It’s hard enough to be an artist… to lose your social media following in this day and age is a big loss,” he told 3AW on Friday.
Lushsux apparently created a new account where he posted photos of the hijab-wearing Clinton.
Despite the fuss, the artist shows no sign of changing his style. Asked what he planned next, Lushsux told listeners: “I might paint a big mural of Trump in similar style.”
AFP contributed to this report.