An exhibit at the main branch of the New York Public Library is drawing outrage from Republicans because some of the work on display depicts former and current members of the Bush administration posing for fake mug shots. Each official in the visionary series, called “Line Up”, is seen holding a slate with a date of arrest corresponding to a date when the official said something about Iraq that was not “reality-based.” Matthew Walter, director of communications for the state GOP, told the Daily News:

It is simply inappropriate to have political attack art, in the form of egregious doctored photographs of the President and other high-ranking officials who have dedicated their lives to public service, in a taxpayer-funded building frequented by schoolchildren and the general public.

No wonder conservatives are always ready to cut budgets for libraries – they’ve become places where an innocent schoolchild’s allegiance to public servants like George Bush and Karl Rove can be egregiously corrupted. Of course, it’s important to note that “Line Up”, by artists Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese, is part of a much larger exhibit called “Multiple Interpretations: Contemporary Prints in Portfolio”, which includes prints from 23 different artists on a wide variety of themes. Among them are artists like Olafur Eliasson, who is the subject of an upcoming retrospective at MoMA, as well Ernesto Caivano, whose decidedly apolitical "Knight Interlude" consists of twelve prints depicting a knight transforming into a tree.

Herb Scher, the director of public relations for the NYPL, spoke with Gothamist and stressed that "the library collects work from a wide range of political satire going back centuries. This work fits into that tradition of caricature. At the NYPL we document what is happening in the culture and political satire is important to have in our collections to document for future scholars."

Nevertheless, we can expect the mug shots controversy to spread and are counting the minutes until Giuliani starts reliving his “Sensation” glory days by chiming in. What do you think – should the city slash the NYPL’s funding and burn all the art books or just let the liberals enjoy their ineffectual little fantasy at taxpayers’ expense?