PM backs daughter after art cops flak

John Key.
John Key.
Prime Minister John Key is backing his daughter over her latest series of artworks, which has attracted controversy because of its reference to native North American customs.

Stephanie Key posted the pictures online as she prepared to submit her portfolio at the Paris College of Art - an American private university with four campuses in Paris.

One of the pop-art style self-portraits, showing Key wearing an elaborate pink, feathered, war headdress, lacy pink knickers and a pink modesty star over her nipple, has been criticised for being culturally inappropriate.

In another shot, similar to the work of artist Pierre et Gilles, she is dressed in red PVC nurse's uniform as she dances alongside tampons superimposed over women's bodies.

Mr Key was questioned over his daughter's controversial art while speaking to media after his address at the National Party conference in Queenstown today.

He said he and his wife Bronagh were "proud of her".

"You've got to remember these pictures were taken off Facebook and [that's] probably something that wouldn't happen to any other art student studying in Paris.

"She's going to make her way in the world ... I hope she does well and I'm incredibly proud of her.

"She's going to have her own view of what art is.

"I hope she's happy and she's healthy and she pursues her dream."

Last year another series of Stephanie Key's self-portraits gained international attention after being highlighted in the Herald on Sunday.

In the photos she posed near-nude with strategically placed pieces of sushi covering her breasts and an octopus over her groin.

At the time, her father brushed off any criticism and said he was "really proud" of her.

Last week, promoters of the annual Rhythm and Vines music festival pulled advertising that included two young girls partying in native American headdress. The promoters also issued a public apology.

Mr Key later said in a statement that his daughter would have her own view of what art was, and obviously others would admire or reject it.

"That is the nature of the art world."

- Kirsty Wynn of the Herald on Sunday and the Otago Daily Times


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