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Naked Brian Cowen pictures make a comeback

Dublin pub has ‘Biffo on the Bog’ and other controversial nude portrait of Taoiseach on display for general election.
Feb 8th 2011, 6:21 PM 4,112 6

THOUGHT YOU’D SEEN the back of Brian Cowen? You’d be wrong. The infamous “nudie” paintings of the former Fianna Fail leader have made a comeback – on the wall of a Dublin pub.

The Taoiseach may have signalled his intent to step down from national politics in the upcoming general election but he hasn’t yet faded from view for patrons of Sean Mac D’s pub in Harold’s Cross.

Owner of the pub, Mark Leavy, told that he had been given the paintings “on loan” from artist Conor Casby to display in his pub during the general election campaign. Leavy said:

I met him (Casby) in the bar here and he liked the other artwork we have displayed around the place so he offered to loan us the paintings for the duration of the election. I’ll be loathe to give them back though – he’ll have to fight me for them!

Leavy said visitors had been popping into the pub to catch a glimpse of the controversial paintings which Casby first ‘exhibited’ in March 2009. At that time, Casby’s two unofficial portraits (one of which is entitled Biff on the Bog) were smuggled into the National Gallery and the RHA hung on the wall there until staff noticed them.

RTE News later issued an apology for carrying images of the two works in their report on the incident. The station apologised “for any personal offence caused to Mr Cowen or his family or for any disrespect shown to the office of Taoiseach by our broadcast”.

Mark Leavy said that he had had several members of the public pop into to see the portraits since he hung them there last week. They fit in with the other original works of art scattered around the hostelry, including sculptures by Leavy himself.

And the good news for Sean Mac D patrons is that the paintings may well be best seen through beer goggles.


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Susan Daly


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