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The Tubman African American Museum board voted unanimously Thursday not to take down a painting there depicting a “Preacher Pimp” that half a dozen or so local clergy members have complained about.

Word of the objection didn’t emerge widely until earlier this week.

The painting, “The Preacher Pimp,” appears in a cross-adorned, church-shaped frame, and is a representation of what Fort Valley-raised artist Alfred Conteh has called “one of the more influential and more powerful pimps.”

The painting debuted at the Cherry Street museum three years ago and is part of Conteh’s “Pimp Series,” which features paintings of 13 everyday hustlers or cons — “Athlete Pimp,” “Property-Owning Pimp” and “Mother Pimp” among them.

In explaining his work, Conteh has said of “Preacher Pimp” that “people know that he’s doing wrong, that he’s sleeping around, that he’s, you know, touching boys or stealing, and they’ll still take up for him in the end.”

Those who first complained at a museum function in May were apparently unaware that the painting, which Conteh donated to the museum, had been in the Tubman collection since 2012.

pimpainting

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