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Swear word in art ‘breaking the law’ at Brentwood gallery

PUBLISHED: 12:06 01 May 2015 | UPDATED: 12:06 01 May 2015

Gallery owner John Brandler, 60, now has to cover a swear word in a work of art. Picture: Brandler Galleries

Gallery owner John Brandler, 60, now has to cover a swear word in a work of art. Picture: Brandler Galleries

Archant

The owner of an art gallery has hit back after police told him to cover up a swear word in a painting.

John Brandler, 60, from Brentwood, has now placed the oil painting of a spoof Penguin Classics Shakespeare book in a more prominent position in his shop window – this time covering the word.

Police visited John last month at Brandler Galleries in Coptfold Road, Brentwood, after they received reports of the offensive artwork.

The painting by artists The Connor Brothers reads: “A load of fuss about **** all.

“Modern Shakespeare – edited by The Connor Brothers.”

John said: “The police came round and said if I don’t remove it I’m breaking the law – they said they’re happy as long as it’s covered.”

He added: “Someone’s complained to police about this and you think, ‘where’s your sense of humour?’

“It’s a painted word in the middle of a sentence – you have to look hard to even find it.

“It is what it says – a load of fuss about **** all.”

The painting, which is worth £7,500, is one of many high-profile pieces at the gallery.

“We’ve sold work by Damien Hirst and Pure Evil and we’ve just sold an £18,000 Banksy,” said John.

The art enthusiast said he has had complaints before with a Pure Evil work which reads “you can’t buy happiness, steal it”, with the “I” in “it” being stolen by a man in a hooded top.

“People complained it was teaching the youth how to steal,” said John. “I just think it’s very clever – these artists make you smile and laugh when you see their work.

“I just think people should be honest when they look at art because we’re not all going to like the same things.”

Essex Police confirmed the incident.


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