Art News


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  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

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 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.

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 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 Musť 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

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.



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

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  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

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