- 24 Oct 22
"This art was made for the public, not to be co-opted by politicians," Asbestos' statement reads.
Asbestos – an Irish artist famed for his work on the street across a variety of media – has condemned Taoiseach Micheál Martin's use of his acclaimed 'What is Home?' mural for a recent TikTok video.
As we reported last year, the Cork mural, which was completed for the 2021 Ardú Street Art Project, highlights Ireland's housing crisis. In the piece, Asbestos is asking: “‘What is home?’… Do you have one, is it safe, can you afford it? Never as a country has our sense of what home means been more at threat.”
The Taoiseach included an image of the mural alongside other photographs of Cork, in a video that attempted to join in on the #ItsCorn TikTok trend.
"It’s come to my attention that the Taoiseach, Micheál Martin , has used my ‘What is Home?’ mural on his Tiktok account," Asbestos stated on Instagram this afternoon. "At no time has he or any representatives requested permission to use the mural, or the photography of the mural. Both the mural and photo are my copyright, which I’m sure the Taoiseach is well aware.
"I do not endorse him or his government, they have been in power and caused a great deal of this crisis. This mural is about a crisis in housing, in homelessness and the Irish government's terrible response. Our Taoiseach should take more time to listen to the fears and terror the public have over housing. During the 7 days I painted this during the Ardú festival, I listened to many wonderful Cork people tell me how scared and uncertain they were about their housing situations, they blame the system, and you are in charge of it Micheál.
"This art was made for the public, not to be co-opted by politicians. I request that our Taoiseach remove this content, apologise for making it seem like I endorse him and arrange for suitable remuneration for the copyright material he has no legal right to use without permission. Any money received will go to housing charities."
See Asbestos' full post below:
View this post on Instagram