Newport artist asked to remove 'lewd' painting from market

Some of the artwork by Jonathan Sherwood which has offended some public members inside Newport market
 (9094597)

Some of the artwork by Jonathan Sherwood which has offended some public members inside Newport market (9094597)

First published in News by

A FORMER art teacher removed one of his paintings from Newport Market yesterday after the city council received a complaint it was lewd.

Jonathan Sherwood, 51, has been displaying his artwork in the market for about a year.

But this week, he was shocked when he was asked to remove some of the paintings, including one showing naked men taking part in a sex act, as he said no one had made a serious complaint to him.

Mr Sherwood, a former life drawing teacher at Crosskeys College and who ran classes for Newport Council, said that he likes to paint challenging topics.

He said: “The paintings have been on display for ages and people have said a few jest comments but nothing serious.

“I talk to people about my artwork and then they are more understanding as I like to paint war scenes, biblical paintings and topics that open people’s minds.”

Another painting that he has removed is of a naked woman being carried by a group of men.

He explained that this was inspired after reading a story of a woman who was pulled from the rubble of a collapsed building in a war zone, so he wanted to capture the loss of dignity in war.

He said: “My brush is my weapon and I capture the pain and suffering endured by people due to conflicts.

“None of work is pornographic but I do paint the human body as it is the 21st century and people are used to seeing the human form.”

Another image that has drawn attention is of naked men huddled together, but Mr Sherwood said that it is a group of men consoling each other after losing everything due to war.

Mr Sherwood gave up teaching in 2005 and now produces his paintings full time.

A lot of his work is in storage but he hopes to have an exhibition where the themes to his artwork can be explained.

A spokeswoman for Newport City Council said: “Newport City Council requested that the art work in question and anything similar was removed from Newport Market as soon as it was made aware of the complaint.

“It was not on display but was in a pile of other paintings in one of the units.”

Comments (15)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

11:36am Sat 9 Aug 14

KarloMarko says...

Thank God Newport Council is on the case. We need to remove anything "distasteful" before Nato comes to town.
Thank God Newport Council is on the case. We need to remove anything "distasteful" before Nato comes to town. KarloMarko
  • Score: 16

1:00pm Sat 9 Aug 14

russ angel says...

I know Mr Sherwood personally,and I find this whole thing "petty" and quite insulting.If only more people were like him in his manner and creativity.
I know Mr Sherwood personally,and I find this whole thing "petty" and quite insulting.If only more people were like him in his manner and creativity. russ angel
  • Score: 11

1:15pm Sat 9 Aug 14

displayed says...

Well it is artististic bent to display such work..........
Well it is artististic bent to display such work.......... displayed
  • Score: -9

1:18pm Sat 9 Aug 14

KarloMarko says...

I hear that the Mayor has a Lucian Freud that he keeps well turned to the wall...
I hear that the Mayor has a Lucian Freud that he keeps well turned to the wall... KarloMarko
  • Score: -2

3:04pm Sat 9 Aug 14

Katie Re-Registered says...

"But this week, he was shocked when he was asked to remove some of the paintings, including one showing naked men taking part in a sex act, as he said no one had made a serious complaint to him."

Since the one that portrays a gay sex scene has been specifically singled out as being "lewd" I suspect there's an element of homophobia going on here.
"But this week, he was shocked when he was asked to remove some of the paintings, including one showing naked men taking part in a sex act, as he said no one had made a serious complaint to him." Since the one that portrays a gay sex scene has been specifically singled out as being "lewd" I suspect there's an element of homophobia going on here. Katie Re-Registered
  • Score: -10

3:12pm Sat 9 Aug 14

KarloMarko says...

Why can't he stick to Sunflowers like a decent artist? If people want to see half naked men and women they can go to the Argus Christmas Party.
Why can't he stick to Sunflowers like a decent artist? If people want to see half naked men and women they can go to the Argus Christmas Party. KarloMarko
  • Score: 14

4:57pm Sat 9 Aug 14

Martyn Butler says...

If your eye offends you - Pluck it out!
If your eye offends you - Pluck it out! Martyn Butler
  • Score: 0

8:35pm Sat 9 Aug 14

Roger Elliot says...

I think they all should be removed on the grounds that he cannot paint for toffee.
I think they all should be removed on the grounds that he cannot paint for toffee. Roger Elliot
  • Score: -1

1:15pm Sun 10 Aug 14

County says...

KarloMarko wrote:
Thank God Newport Council is on the case. We need to remove anything "distasteful" before Nato comes to town.
Seems to be the way these days; one person complains in a country of 65 million complains and that makes it controversial.
[quote][p][bold]KarloMarko[/bold] wrote: Thank God Newport Council is on the case. We need to remove anything "distasteful" before Nato comes to town.[/p][/quote]Seems to be the way these days; one person complains in a country of 65 million complains and that makes it controversial. County
  • Score: 4

2:46pm Sun 10 Aug 14

artsfan says...

"But this week, he was shocked when he was asked to remove some of the paintings, including one showing naked men taking part in a sex act, as he said no one had made a serious complaint to him. "

Actually, the painting in question shows a group of warmongers taking pleasure from holding a man down and castrating him. Whoever called it a sex act or 'lewd' is totally missing the point. I'd not call any of this artist's work lewd in the slightest. To me, this work is about the absolute power that people in government have. Examples are Obama's 'ok, so we tortured a few people...' statement, which was hardly remorseful, and the "missing" paedophile files in Westminster. This artist is amazing in that he really does use his brush as his weapon and really gets his message across exceptionally well, but a few small-minded people (in fact a tiny minority) just don't seem capable of seeing the whole picture.
"But this week, he was shocked when he was asked to remove some of the paintings, including one showing naked men taking part in a sex act, as he said no one had made a serious complaint to him. " Actually, the painting in question shows a group of warmongers taking pleasure from holding a man down and castrating him. Whoever called it a sex act or 'lewd' is totally missing the point. I'd not call any of this artist's work lewd in the slightest. To me, this work is about the absolute power that people in government have. Examples are Obama's 'ok, so we tortured a few people...' statement, which was hardly remorseful, and the "missing" paedophile files in Westminster. This artist is amazing in that he really does use his brush as his weapon and really gets his message across exceptionally well, but a few small-minded people (in fact a tiny minority) just don't seem capable of seeing the whole picture. artsfan
  • Score: 10

7:48pm Sun 10 Aug 14

b3talover says...

Katie Re-Registered wrote:
"But this week, he was shocked when he was asked to remove some of the paintings, including one showing naked men taking part in a sex act, as he said no one had made a serious complaint to him."

Since the one that portrays a gay sex scene has been specifically singled out as being "lewd" I suspect there's an element of homophobia going on here.
Here we go again...
[quote][p][bold]Katie Re-Registered[/bold] wrote: "But this week, he was shocked when he was asked to remove some of the paintings, including one showing naked men taking part in a sex act, as he said no one had made a serious complaint to him." Since the one that portrays a gay sex scene has been specifically singled out as being "lewd" I suspect there's an element of homophobia going on here.[/p][/quote]Here we go again... b3talover
  • Score: 1

8:05pm Sun 10 Aug 14

KarloMarko says...

Obama was in fact far worse. He actually said, "We tortured some folks" in that homespun cant of his to make it sound like it was an out - take from The Waltons. This included, apart from the endless waterboarding etc; draining people's body fluids by a drip to reduce them to suspended semi conciousness and blind panic attacks. Just as the Soviets pioneered in the 60s and 70s. Lessons were obviously learnt there by our free world humanitarians. One outcome is that the N.Y.Times NOW feels brave enough to finally and very gently use the forbidden word "torture" for US government barbarity. Rejoice.
Obama was in fact far worse. He actually said, "We tortured some folks" in that homespun cant of his to make it sound like it was an out - take from The Waltons. This included, apart from the endless waterboarding etc; draining people's body fluids by a drip to reduce them to suspended semi conciousness and blind panic attacks. Just as the Soviets pioneered in the 60s and 70s. Lessons were obviously learnt there by our free world humanitarians. One outcome is that the N.Y.Times NOW feels brave enough to finally and very gently use the forbidden word "torture" for US government barbarity. Rejoice. KarloMarko
  • Score: 7

10:18am Mon 11 Aug 14

-trigg- says...

His big mistake was to forget to paint the cherubs. You need the cherubs to tell you that its art and not just a picture of a naked body.
His big mistake was to forget to paint the cherubs. You need the cherubs to tell you that its art and not just a picture of a naked body. -trigg-
  • Score: 4

3:06pm Mon 11 Aug 14

lowandhardandinthecorner says...

Sad,sad small-mindedness. It's a pity people aren't offended by the behaviour the painting was attempting to depict. Low brow prudes get their way yet again, I thought the era of Mary Whitehouse was well gone.
Sad,sad small-mindedness. It's a pity people aren't offended by the behaviour the painting was attempting to depict. Low brow prudes get their way yet again, I thought the era of Mary Whitehouse was well gone. lowandhardandinthecorner
  • Score: 3

4:46pm Mon 25 Aug 14

Corda1983 says...

I saw some right smutty brushworks in the National Gallery the other day. There were children present. Children! The ones who didn't melt at the sight of such monstrosities turned around and started beating their parents to death with their own shoes. Can't have that happening in Newport!

In all seriousness, though, pathetic.
I saw some right smutty brushworks in the National Gallery the other day. There were children present. Children! The ones who didn't melt at the sight of such monstrosities turned around and started beating their parents to death with their own shoes. Can't have that happening in Newport! In all seriousness, though, pathetic. Corda1983
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree