'I am not a racist', says Norway's bad-boy artist

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'I am not a racist', says Norway's bad-boy artist

The artist whose provocative chair outraged race and women's rights campaigners last week has accused his critics of reacting "out of all proportion" to the work.


"I am not a racist," Bjarne Melgaard told Norway's NRK broadcaster in his home city of New York. "People can interpret things however they themselves desire. It's not something I can decide on." 
He expressed bemusement that there had been no reaction when the chair, which is fashioned from a mannequin of a black woman bound up with bondage equipment, was featured in exhibitions in Rome, Paris and New York one and a half years ago. 
"I think the reaction is coming a little too late," Melgaard said. "It should have come one and half years ago when the work was exhibited."
The chair caused a scandal in the art world after Dasha Zhukova, a prominent art expert and the girlfriend of oil billionaire Roman Abramovich, was photographed sitting on it on a Russian fashion website.


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