Minnesota artist Nick Rindo has been submitting seed artwork for the Minnesota State Fair for the past three years. While he has two pieces featured this year, one has proven to be too controversial for the fairgrounds, and received the boot last Friday.
When creating the now banned piece, he was struck by sudden inspiration. Like many, Rindo has been following the allegations against Cosby, as over 40 women have come forward with sexual assault incidents spanning some 40 or so years.
"I thought, ‘God, I should do a Bill Cosby,’" he tells Huffington Post. "Then I realized the wordplay thing.”
He settled on a portrait of Bill Cosby. The material he used was critical for the piece. With the intent of sparking conversation, Rindo decided to use canola seeds, a.k.a. rapeseed, to create a work in Cosby's likeness.
The work was completed quickly, taking only a few hours. It was accepted into the crop art showcase this year at the Minnesota State Fair, though the word "rapeseed" was taped over on the crediting card, which lists materials. However, the tape-over wasn't enough to stop controversy, as complaints from fairgoers eventually led to the piece being removed from display.
While some fairgoers and art lovers are enraged by the decision, which was made by Ron Kelsey, superintendent of crop art (how awesome is that job title?), Rindo holds no ill will against the tastemakers at the Minnesota State Fair, and has repeatedly requested that people ease up on the anger:
Since the crop-art ejection on Friday, the story has gone viral, showing up on news sites both national and local, as well as burning up a few threads on Reddit.
Rindo, who is a freelance illustrator and software designer when he's not making controversial crop art, also has another piece in the fair this year: a bad-ass tribute to the late, great Leonard Nimoy as Spock.