Art News

 2017

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  Property porn...

4 storey phallus mural censored in New York


Link Here 28th December 2017
phallic muralA four-storey painting of a penis that piqued the curiosity of New Yorkers when it appeared on Christmas Eve was being painted over on Wednesday -- by order of the building's landlord.

The painting, on an apartment building on Broome Street in the Lower East Side, was commissioned by a local street art foundation and made by a Swedish artist, Carolina Falkholt, as a companion to a similarly vast if more abstract vagina, further east on Pike Street.

Falkholt told the Guardian:

I usually paint giant vaginas, pussies and cunts, she said, and since I had just finished one on the side of a five-storey building, I felt like a dick was needed. The wall space on Broome was a perfect fit for it.

Katie Grinero, a building manager in the city, indicated the likely fate of the painting when she said she considered the image to constitute property damage.

 

  Minor influence...

Gallery bans Tijana Grujic's erotic art exhibition in Belgrade


Link Here 24th December 2017
tijana grujicNational Theatre Club management in Belgrade has cancelled Tijana Grujic's exhibition Autoportretisanje: Maske su pale (Selfportraiting: The Masks Have Fallen) over explicit erotic content, reported Serbian art and culture news site Noizz .

The venue's management explained that guests, who were able to see the paintings a day before the ceremonial opening on 26 November 2017, claimed the works to be indecent, adding that the nudity and erotic scenes could influence children.

Families with children visit this place during the day and since this exhibition is not for minors we had to cancel it, organisers told Serbian news source Blic .

The painter claimed that management was familiar with her work as she had exhibited her work at the venue previously and that the details for the recent exhibition were shared a month in advance.

 

  Triggering a petition...

A Balthus painting being shown at New York's Met survives an online petition calling for it to be taken down or captioned


Link Here 6th December 2017

metropolitan museum logoThe Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has decided not to take down a Balthus painting of a young girl, Thérèse Dreaming (1938), that an online petition calls sexually suggestive.

The work depicts Balthus's favoured model and neighbour, Thérèse Blanchard, who was 12 or 13 years old at the time, reclining with her underwear visible. The artist had a noted infatuation with pubescent girls, and it can be strongly argued that this painting romanticises the sexualisation of a child, writes the New York resident Mia Merrill, who started the petition on the website Care2 on 30 November. It has since gathered more than 8,600 supporters.

Merrill says that she is not calling for the work to be censored, destroyed or never seen again but either removed from display or shown with a caption that acknowledges the controversy over Balthus's reputation.

The museum's chief communications officer, Kenneth Weine, told the New York Times that:

Moments such as this provide an opportunity for conversation, and visual art is one of the most significant means we have for reflecting on both the past and the present and encouraging the continuing evolution of existing culture through informed discussion and respect for creative expression.

 

  The Russian art of protest...

An exhibition of art from Pussy Riot and other Russian artists has opened in London


Link Here 20th November 2017  full story: Pussy Riot...Protest in a church sparks vengeful persecution
pussy riot about putin Members of the punk rock band Pussy Riot were arrested for their criticism of Putin while performing in a Moscow cathedral. The performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky once sat naked in front of Lenin's Mausoleum, and nailed his scrotum to the stone pavement. He was later taken away by the police. The art duo Blue Noses is famous for a photograph of two Russian policemen kissing and embracing each other while in uniform.

They are all, along with other protest artists who work in Russia, part of the  Art Riot: Post-Soviet Actionism exhibit whiched opened on 16th November at London's Saatchi Gallery.

Quartz have produced a video showing examples of the protest art .

 

  Trouble in Paradise...

Sculptor harassed by easily offended locals and then prosecuted in the Cayman Islands


Link Here 1st November 2017
ronald kynes devil workThe Cayman Islands in the Caribbean is an autonomous British Overseas Territory. But the British connections does not be achieving much in the way of free expression.

Sculptor Ronald Foots Kynes, based on Cayman Brac, was charged on 16 October 2017 under section 157 of the Penal Code for displaying an obscene object for public exhibition and intending to corrupt morals, related to some of his artwork displayed on his property.

The sculptor, who is representing himself in court, pled not guilty in his first court hearing on 26 October and requested the case go to trial with a jury in Grand Cayman.

The sculptor was originally detained on 18 July 2017 after refusing to remove publicly visible sculptures that featured nudity, homosexuality and religious iconography that have offended the easily offended.

The pieces were on display for three months before he was arrested under the little-used section of the Penal Code that prohibits the distribution or public exhibition of obscene writings, drawing, paintings, or any other object tending to corrupt morals.

On 12 August, two of the sculptures involved in the case were vandalized, and Kynes said that at least eight of his works have been damaged in similar circumstances since 2009. The artist also said he has received death threats and constant harassment from the community.

 

 Offsite Article: Art and authoritarianism...


Link Here 24th October 2017
1984 Nineteen Eighty-Four A speech by Jodie Ginsberg of Index on Censorship

See article from indexoncensorship.org

 

 Offsite Article: The artworks that caused a scandal...


Link Here 20th October 2017
naked female chair As two major museums have scrapped plans to show controversial pieces this month, the BBC takes a look at the history of censorship in the art world.

See article from bbc.com

 

 Updated: A shaggy dog story...

The Louvre censors sculpture referencing bestiality


Link Here 18th October 2017
atelier-van-lieshoutArtist Joep van Lieshout has slammed a last-minute decision made by the Musé du Louvre to cancel a display of his controversial Domestikator sculpture, which looks like a man shagging a dog or sheep.

The Atelier van Lieshout founder said the museum was totally crazy to scrap plans to install the sculpture in Paris' Jardin des Tuileries, and claims that it was due to worries about offending visitors.

Lieshout told Dezeen:

I think that's a very sad development. I think art should be a place where there are very few limits.

Van Lieshout's Rotterdam-based studio first unveiled the 12-metre high sculpture in 2015, as part of an art village he created in Germany. Designed as a hybrid between art and architecture, it is intended to represent human domestication, and domination of the natural environment.

Although it looks an expression of bestiality, Van Lieshout insists that the piece is not primarily or explicitly sexual in nature. He says his aim was to raise questions about what taboos remain, in a world where the introduction of genetic manipulation, robotics and artificial intelligence has pushed ethical boundaries to the extreme. This piece is not about sex, it's about the ethics of technological innovation.

Update: A less stuffy venue found

18th October  2017 See  article from cyprus-mail.com

The Louvre shied away from displaying a sculpture that some have labelled as too sexually explicit, but the nearby Pompidou Centre on Tuesday decided the world needed to decide for itself.

Standing 12 metres tall, Domestikator , a creation from Dutch artist Joep van Lieshout, is now on show in the esplanade outside the high-tech architectural building of the Pompidou Centre.

Bernard Blistene, director of the Pompidou Centre Museum was asked whether the work was obscene or pornographic, he responded:

This work of art is funny, it is an obvious nod to the relationship of abstraction and figurative painting that co-exist in Dutch art in the 20th century. Spiritual yes, obscene no.

 

  Subtle progress...

Vietnam's first officially sanctioned nude photography exhibition


Link Here 16th October 2017
hao nhien exhibitVietnam's first ever licensed nude photography exhibition took place last month in Ho Chi Minh City. A collection of portraits was exhibited with the title Tao Tac , which translates loosely to subtle pieces making a whole when put together.

Hosted by the Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts Association Headquarters, the show collated over four years of shoots, editing and planning by Vietnamese photographer Hao Nhien.

The most difficult step in organizing the exhibition, he says, was the process of preparing the bare content, but for many of his contemporaries the fact that he was able to lift the curtain on such content was an even greater achievement in Vietnam's highly censored context.

This is a sign that the door might be opening wider for similar events to be permitted, Hao Nhien's fellow photographer Nguyen A told local media. What makes me even happier is that Ho Chi Minh City [authorities] have taken the lead with such an open-minded decision.

 

  High-minded...

US moralists whinge at a 45 foot Washington DC artwork depicting a naked woman.


Link Here 6th October 2017
catharsis on the mall 2017A US religious morality group is campaigning against a a 45-foot steel statue of a nude woman on the National Mall in Washington DC.

Concerned Americans with Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) launched a petition urging the National Park Service in Washington, D.C., to deny a final permit for the artwork.

The statue has received tentative approval to go up at the annual Catharsis on the Mall event. It was used earlier at the Burning Man festival held outside Reno, Nevada.

If the final permit is issued, the nude statue called R-Evolution would go up around Friday, November 11. It would face the White House, between the Washington Monument and the World War II Monument.

C. Preston Noell III, spokesman for TFP,  wrote:

25 million children, families and tourists visit the Mall annually. They will be exposed to this unexpected display of female nudity.

Parents don't want their kids to see this stuff. Nor do tourists expect to see nudity on the Mall. That's why so many decent people are standing up in peaceful protest.

16,000 people have signed the petition in just a few hours, urging Park Service authorities to reject this indecent display on federal property. Every single voice against public nudity counts. This needs to be stopped and common decency restored.

 

 Offsite Article: Art in a dog eat dog world...


Link Here 3rd October 2017
dogs who cant touch By bowing to the braying internet mob, the Guggenheim forgot its purpose. By Rupert Myers

See article from theguardian.com

 

  Better out of sight and out of mind...

New York art gallery pulls exhibit revealing animal cruelty in China over fears of violent protest


Link Here 26th September 2017

dogs who cant touch The Guggenheim Museum in New York has pulled three exhibits featuring animals after receiving explicit and repeated threats of violence. The museum said they will not now be shown out of concern for the safety of its staff, visitors, and participating artists.'Cruel manipulation of animals'

Campaigners had complained that the works showed cruelty against animals in the name of art. A petition to pull the exhibits had gained more than 500,000 signatures.

One of the works, titled Dogs That Cannot Touch Each Other , shows a film of pitbull dogs on treadmills facing each other but aren't able to reach each other. The dogs are being observed in a presumably Chinese gallery setting with onlookers rather passively observing and photographing proceedings.

The other exhibits are Theatre of the World , in which insects and reptiles live in a see-through dome and eat each other; and A Case Study of Transference , a video of a previous live performance of two mating pigs stamped with Roman and Greek letters.

The museum has explained that the exhibit is an intentionally challenging and provocative artwork saying:

We recognise that the work may be upsetting. The curators of the exhibition hope that viewers will consider why the artists produced it and what they may be saying about the social conditions of globalisation and the complex nature of the world we share.

The museum said it was dismayed that we must withhold works of art, adding: Freedom of expression has always been and will remain a paramount value of the Guggenheim.

The American Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals issued a statement objecting to the cruel manipulation of animals. It said:

Such treadmills are typical of brutal dog fighting training regimens, and the mere positioning of animals to face each other and encourage aggression often meets the definition of illegal dog fighting in most states.

It is interesting to observe that campaigners against the exhibition pointed out the offending video on YouTube, thinking that people would take offence and join the protest, in very much the same way that the Guggenheim exhibition is pointing out the cruelty going on in China, perhaps with the aim of provoking protest.

The works were due to be in an exhibition titled Art and China after 1989: Theatre of the World, which opens on 6 October.

 

 Offsite Article: Censorship and art don't mix...


Link Here 25th February 2017
Spiked logo Galleries must be free to exhibit offensive, even bigoted, work. By Tessa Mayes

See article from spiked-online.com

 

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