Artist claims censorship over depiction of Kansas Gov. Brownback

Artist claims censorship over depiction of Kansas Gov. Brownback
An artist in Kansas said his depiction of Gov. Sam Brownback was censored when it was removed from a Topeka restaurant. (David Loewenstein)

An artist in Kansas is claiming censorship over his unflattering depiction of Gov. Sam Brownback. DavidĀ Loewenstein wrote on his personal blog that his print showing the politician as a demonic figure featuring the words "Reject Brownback" was taken down from a Topeka cafe.

Brownback, a Republican, has also served as a U.S. representative and senator from Kansas. He was elected governor in 2010. Brownback received national attention last year when he eliminated the Kansas Arts Commission, making Kansas the first state to completely do away with arts funding.


After intense pressure from arts advocates, Brownback somewhat reversed his decision by restoring some arts funding.

The artist's depiction shows the governor engulfed in orange hell fire, with a deranged expression on his face.

The removal of the artwork was apparently carried out by an owner of the building where the restaurant is located.

In a correspondence posted on the artist's blog, the owner of the building said the removal of the print was done out of sensitivity toward the governor's daughter, who apparently works in the same building: "Liz is a valued employee and friend to us and I (we) felt strongly against subjecting her to having to look at a picture of her father burning at her place of employment."

Loewenstein wrote on his blog that the owners of the restaurant, called the Blue Planet Cafe, "informed me that they did not agree to censoring this piece and do not condone or support its being taken down."

The removal of the artwork has been covered by the local media, including the Topeka Capital-Journal.