AN artist has fiercely defended his exhibition which depicted several paintings with Nazi symbols in the foreground.

John Bulley, 69, a prominent Southend artist, has stood up for his exhibition, which included three pieces portraying a “Nazi Christmas tree”, a “Winter Wonderland” in Nazi Germany, and a “naked Jewish women in a Ukraine ghetto”.

His controversial exhibition, on display in August 2012, has now come under fire from Southend Eye, a vocal Twitter page which describe themselves as a “platform for alternative criticism.”

They tweeted: “We are appalled to learn that Southend artist John Bulley presented an exhibition in 2012 which trivialised the use of fascist and racist insignia.

“Whether intended to be ironic or not, this demonstrates an astounding lack of sensitivity.

“Bulley claims that the work was a reflection on his childhood spent in Germany, to get his head around conflicting emotions.”

Mr Bulley responded with frustration that the criticisms have emerged – seven years on.

He said: “It’s just someone else who is hiding behind an alter ego and an online personality.

“I couldn’t give a monkeys what they think.

“Nobody knows who they are.

“They need to let me know who they are so we can have a proper discussion about their feelings towards me and the exhibition.

“Why should I bother worrying about them?

“It’s another keyboard warrior. I literally don’t care.

“I actually take it as a compliment.

“Sadly there’s a lot of bitterness out there. It’s quite sad really.

“I did spend a lot of time in Germany and it was an important time of my life.

“I’m offensive enough now, why bring something up from 2012!?”

Speaking before, John described his exhibition and his childhood in Germany: “When I first moved to Germany, the end of the Second World War was only 12 years in the past.

“The people I came into contact with had all experienced the Nazis, the Allied bombing raids, the subsequent invasion and total surrender.

“As a child I was unaware of all this. The war was somewhere in the past, something that old people had done.

“I only knew we had won the war and the Germans had lost.

“It never occurred to me that the rubble behind the brand new city centre streets was still waiting to be cleared away.

“I have done three pieces to try and get my head around the conflicting emotions I have for the time I spent in Germany as a kid and my subsequent knowledge of what occurred during the Nazis’ reign.”