Queen's Brian May Addresses Freddie Mercury Gorilla Art Controversy
"The organization that actually puts the whole scheme of 'painted statue animals' together is a company called Wild in Art," he explained. "These guys are not in any sense a charity. They mount these projects on a purely commercial basis. The way it works is - these projects they create enable charities to make some money, as well as bringing visibility.
"So it was Wild In Art who produced this particular gorilla-shaped effigy, which they evidently had someone paint up in a yellow Freddie Wembley outfit and stick some teeth and a moustache on. Now: far be it from me to make an artistic judgement on this - you can form your own opinion - but when the model was first seen, a number of people thought it was a crude and insulting effort - probably to both Freddie and the Gorilla!"
"So when word of this got to Freddie's estate, they asked for an approach to be made to Wild in Art, to ask them if they'd have another go at the painting of the Freddie Gorilla," writes May. "The way it was reported, it looked as if the MPT (Mercury Phoenix Trust) had 'blocked' the deployment of the statue altogether, but actually the issue had nothing to do with the MPT; plus it wasn't a block at all - simply a request for an update to the paint job, to which Wild in Art kindly agreed."
"Now there were accusations of 'pettiness' in the media and on Twitter, but you have to ask yourself how you'd feel if suddenly people were making effigies of your dearly departed dad or son or brother, and you felt they were disrespectful," May continues. "You'd want to feel you had some kind of a right to say yes or no, to protect his reputation. That's exactly what the people who run Freddie's estate do." He continues here.
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