MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Richfield artist’s attempt to spark a conversation got one of his art pieces removed from the Minnesota State Fair.

Nick Rindo says he created a crop art portrait of Bill Cosby, who has been accused of drugging and sexually assaulting dozens of women.

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Rindo used rapeseed in his art. His portrait was removed from the fairgrounds within the first day of the fair.

“How bad do things have to be if a portrait of your face is not suitable for the State Fair?” Rindo said.

He says he threw the Cosby piece together in just a couple hours, and he purposely used rapeseed to create the portrait.

“The word play hit me and I knew it could spawn a lot of conversation if I put it in the State Fair,” Rindo said.

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It did. After receiving several complaints, the portrait was removed by administrators.

But Rindo says his art is not pro-Cosby. It was simply there to start a conversation about a serious issue.

“The great thing about crop art is thousands of people see it at the State Fair and it would have potentially spawned thousands of conversations. And it looks like it is now, but it’s happening in a different way,” he said.

Ron Kelsey, the superintendent of Farm Crops at the State Fair, says he had only removed one other piece of art before the Cosby piece in the last 15 years, which was made out of marijuana seeds.

He also removed a crop picture that made a sexual reference this year.

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Another piece of crop art that Rindo made this year, featuring Mr. Spock of “Star Trek,” is still on display.

John Lauritsen