Mike has got to go!

This is a painting of convicted rapist Mike Tyson at the Tap and Barrel in North Vancouver.

I personally find this kind of disgusting.  My friends (Vasco & Irina) took me out for my birthday dinner and I was stunned to see this.  I’m pretty sure that most of the young women working there have no idea that this guy is in fact a convicted rapist who was sentenced to 10 years but of course served less than 3.  Why would Tap & Barrel choose to glorify this clown?  Well I sent them my instagram post and they (Daniel Frankel) wrote;

Dear Daniel,

I can appreciate that you do not care for this particular painting by David T. Cho, and I can respect that everyone is entitled to their opinion – that is what makes art so great and so unique in my opinion. Freedom of speech is the foundation of our communities and our nation. The works exhibited in our restaurants may awe, illuminate, challenge, unsettle, confound, provoke, and, at times, offend our guests. We defend the freedom to create content and exhibit such work, and recognize the privilege of living in a country where creating, exhibiting, and experiencing such work is a constitutional right. This is our commitment to free speech and we celebrate it openly.

The fine art showcased at Tap & Barrel restaurants celebrates local Canadian artists, with a further focus on local, BC artists, painters, sculptors and photographers. We are very proud of our growing esteemed collection, which includes works by some of Canada’s top and also emerging artists (including Douglas Coupland, Graeme Gilmour, Chris Woods, Carla Tak, Peter Kiss, and David T. Cho). We celebrate local arts and culture and use our restaurant spaces as galleries, seamlessly integrating art with our daily dining and entertaining experiences. This is a differentiating factor that sets us apart from other restaurants, and we are very proud of our commitment to local arts and culture.

To exhibit a work of art is not to endorse the work or the vision, ideas, and opinions of the artist. It is to uphold the right of all to experience diverse visions and views. If and when controversies arise from the exhibition of a work of art, we welcome public discussion and debate with the belief that such discussion is integral to the experience of the art. Consistent with our fundamental commitment to freedom of speech, however, we will not censor artwork in response to political, social or ideological pressure.

In this particular case, we are celebrating an extraordinary and esteemed local artist, David T. Cho, (painting entitled “an audience”) who graduated with a BFA in 2008 from Emily Carr University. He was born in South Korea and was drawn to pop culture icons such as Tyson, amongst others.

I truly hope you will reconsider visiting us, despite having this work in our space. I do thank you for reaching out and sharing your opinion on this piece. You have reminded me of how important opinions are, and have validated our commitment to not only celebrating great artists, but also to freedom of speech. I would be happy to meet you at Tap & Barrel Shipyards to discuss our art program, and how we have played a role in promoting local Canadian artists.

Sincerely yours,
Daniel

Daniel Frankel
CEO | Tap & Barrel Restaurants • Head Office

604-678-6135<tel:604-678-6135> | dfrankel@tapandbarrel.com<mailto:dfrankel@tapandbarrel.com>
900-850 West Hastings St., Vancouver V6C 1E1

I wrote back;

Wow!  So you’re ok with glorifying a convicted rapist!  That’s not my Canada or Vancouver.  I wonder if all the young women that work there realize that this guy was jailed for raping another young woman, uhm? Where are the pictures of people like Andre De Grasse or Penny Oleksiak, Canadian metal winner? But in the name of artistic impression or freedom of speech Tap & Barrel opt to glorify an American convicted rapist.  Cool…,

Daniel

He has not responded.  I urge everyone to send them a note if this bugs you has much as it bothers me. And please fwd this page on Facebook or what ever, Mike has got to go!