Friday, January 12, 2007

Tortured Artist of the Week

Tortured artist? What, like Van Gogh?
Well, he hasn't cut his ear off yet, but Stephen Murmer, of Virginia, has become a martyr of sorts.

Oh yeah?
Yep, he's been sacked from his day job as a schoolteacher because of the "disruption" his art causes in the classroom.

What disruption could there be?
It's a slightly tender area, butt, I mean but, he paints in a rather unusual way. He, er, uses a specific part of his anatomy instead of a brush.

His posterior. His derriere. His trouser baps. His ar-

Yes, we get the picture. Does he do this in class?
No, but he moonlights, so to speak. And there's a video of him "at work" on YouTube that his students have seen.

YouTube? I presume...
Yes, at the bottom of this post.

Wasn't it a bit harsh to sack him?
His lawyer thinks so. A "bad day for the first amendment", he described it. Though I'm not sure the first amendment actually mentions the use of the gluteus maximus as a paintbrush (just checked, it doesn't). He also gave the following quote (my italics):

"Chesterfield lost a tremendous asset today"

Hmm, perhaps he can appeal against the decision, although he might be better off turning the other cheek. What does the future hold for Mr Murmer?
He says "there's really nothing like teaching", (and I'd like to emphasise that this is really nothing like teaching that I know) and is looking for a new job. Meanwhile he's selling his paintings online and probably milking the publicity for all it's worth. If you like the video, why not take a look?

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