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.”