Artist Sam Mahon has painted a picture of John Key as a corpse and made it part of an interactive game on his website called, "Who Killed John Key?"
Mahon, who calls himself a socialist, says he hopes the image "will simply make people curious". He wants to "put a bunch of 'Key crimes' on to one ring," he told the Sunday Star-Times.
"The thing about this man is that he seems to be able to lie to the public straight-faced knowing that given a month or three the promises he makes will be forgotten. Success in politics seems to depend on the public having a very short memory."
The painting shows Key's body slumped against a wall in an alley with a rifled wallet beside him. A half-empty wine bottle, a rat and a half-eaten apple are among the detritus nearby.
Viewers are invited to discover Key's "killer" by viewing 24 video clues embedded in the picture, most of which are interviews with Key taken from the Web. People who guess the killer will be eligible for prizes including a Mahon cast bronze of a dying dove ("a metaphor for dying hopes").
Asked if he was worried that people would find the image offensive, Mahon said: "All art is expression and metaphor and the job artists have is to make people feel uncomfortable. Now once you've made people uncomfortable you've got their attention. And once you've got their attention you can begin to change their mind."
The image will be put on Mahon's website tomorrow and the names of those who guessed the killer will be posted on election day, November 26.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Can the ACT Party survive?Related story: ACT life support still on