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Hardly promoting positive body image...

Police tell the insecure young girls of Denmark that they should be ashamed of their bodies as they are not fit to be seen in public

Link Here20th December 2015
A photo exhibition of naked women aimed at promoting positive body image in Copenhagen has been shut down by police.

The police message seems to be that the insecure young girls of Denmark should be ashamed of their bodies as they are not fit to be seen in public

Danish nudist photographer and artist Mathilde Grafström had planned the display of her Female Beauty collection for Copenhagen's Nytorv square, but police have denied her permission claiming the photos are offensive . Speaking to Denmark's TV 2 she said:

I take my photos to show young women that they are more beautiful than they think. I show the woman that she is beautiful, and that way I can help her to accept herself.



Don't censor Eccencia!...

Campaigners petition council not to censor remarkable street mural in Toronto

Link Here8th December 2015
A remarkable 300m street mural by the international group Essencia Arts Collective is under threat of council censorship in Toronto.

More than 600 people have signed a petition amid rumours a Toronto mural some have deemed scary could be a target for censorship.

In fact the artwork was approved by the City of Toronto's StreetARToronto program, and completed last month. But shortly after the mural was unveiled, the Essentia group was told that Councillor Grank Di Giorio had received calls complaining that the painting was scary.

The petition was created on  by Paul Salvatori for those who believe the piece should not be censored by the City. It reads:

We the undersigned believe that forcing Essencia to change the mural, in whole or part, will at once compromise both the beauty and message of the artwork as a whole.

We petition that the City of Toronto, for this reason, leave the mural untouched and allowed to remain in its current and complete form.

The mural, in addition to its aesthetically remarkable character, is a challenging but important statement about the dangers of environmental degradation and a reminder of the natural splendour we stand to lose if the earth is left unprotected.

The mural features several brightly-coloured animals, including a tiger, elephant, owl and bear, as well as landscapes ranging from bricked pyramids to choppy waves. It also depicts polar bears walking past icy blue glaciers, flamingos passing elephants in a desert, and a man fishing in a swirling ocean. More ominous portions show vultures flying over oil rigs, a person in a gas mask and an apparently post-apocalyptic Toronto skyline.



Cowtowing to Extremism...

Indian art exhibit vandalised by religious extremists

Link Here22nd November 2015
Organizers of an art fair in India say right-wing Hindu extremists have vandalised an exhibit of a Styrofoam cow that was suspended in midair using a balloon. The activists claimed that the installation was offensive.

R.B. Gauttam, an organizer of the Jaipur Art Summit, said that the exhibit was meant to highlight how cows suffer after ingesting plastic waste at India's many garbage dumps.



Offsite Article: Art from the pre-manga period...

Link Here11th November 2015
Pornography or erotic art Japanese museum aims to confront shunga taboo

See article from




Ulster unionist parties call for the censorship of art depicting them in KKK hoods

Link Here7th November 2015
More than 300 works are on display in Northern Ireland's biggest visual arts show, but a small area of one of them has sparked a clamour for censorship.

Christian Flautists Outside St Patrick's was the last painting by acclaimed Irish artist Joseph McWilliams, who died last month. He was posthumously awarded The Irish News Prize for the work. Close inspection of the painting shows a group of people in Klu Klux Klan hoods at the bottom left of the picture.

Two political parties, Traditional Unionist Voice and the Democratic Unionist Party have demanded the removal of the painting from the 134th Annual Exhibition at the Ulster Museum following complaints from the Orange Order. The group complained that a small blurred section depicts a number of Orangemen wearing Ku Klux Klan clothing . They deny it ever happened calling it deliberate demonization .

It has prompted calls from unionist political party Traditional Unionist Voice to remove the painting from display. The Democratic Unionist Party also criticised the work.

However the Royal Ulster Academy has refused to bow to these demands. Academy president Denise Ferran said the work would not be removed over the disputed square inch of a canvas that is seven foot by five foot as it would be an attack on artistic freedom.

The Academy has subsequently put up notices saying some people may be offended by the exhibition. Ferran said:

What we will not do is take the picture down. Once you go down that road, the problems will never cease. I'm delighted we're not a moribund crowd of old stooges. We are causing provocation, which is what an academy of artists should be doing.

A spokesman for the Orange Order said putting up the disclaimers was a necessary step and at least some acknowledgement of the genuine concerns of the institution and many in the wider community to the inaccurate and misleading nature of the painting in question . He added that the group had not called for the painting to be removed from display saying the Orange Order does not actively support censorship . A spokesman for the Order said its members were entitled to feel outraged that a major publicly funded facility should display such artwork which is deeply offensive to their traditions.



Comment: Destroying Art...

Graham Ovenden's art is controversial, but its destruction is a scandal...

Link Here17th October 2015

Islamic State

15th October 2015. See  article from By Brendan O'Neill

So, it isn't only the hammer-wielding nutters of Isis who destroy 'immoral art'.

British State

17th October 2015. See  article from

From Caravaggio to Graham Ovenden do artists' crimes taint their art?



No gherkins please!...

Australian local council censors street mural depicting a hamburger orgy

Link Here3rd October 2015
Melbourne's 20-foot-tall mural featuring what can only be described as a hamburger orgy will be short-lived. The local council has opted to edit Kama Sutra Burger, a work by street artist Mike Maka, better known as Makatron, to obscure the work's sexual imagery.

The painting, commissioned by a local business owner in Brunswick, depicts a massive, multi-layer hamburger, with writhing nudes nestled among the all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions--on a sesame seed bun.

The artist has described the work to Mashable as:

A comment on how media uses sex to sell anything, especially women's bodies. It's a mash up celebration of human diversity, body shapes, colors and tastes of all types of people.

Moreland mayor Meghan Hopper told the Guardian:

Art is certainly in the eye of the beholder ,...BUT... our arts and culture team does think there are a couple of parts of the image that might have crossed a few lines,.

The street artist will be selling uncensored t-shirts featuring the original mural design in all its orgasmic, beefy glory.




Artwork mocking ISIS is censored by police who refused to provide the additional security required

Link Here29th September 2015
Satirical art  using children's toy characters from the Sylvanian Families to mock Islamic State (ISIS) has been banned from a freedom of speech exhibition over fears of muslim violence.

The work was censored from the schedule at the Passion for Freedom exhibition at London's Mall Galleries after police raised serious concerns about the possibility of a terrorist atrocity against visitors. Police feared crazed jihadis would take offence and launch a reprisal attack in response to the heavily mocking artwork.

Officers told exhibition organisers they would have to pay £36,000 to hire extra security if the piece was displayed, forcing the gallery to remove it from display.

The works mocked the Islamist fanatics by showing them lurking in the background of ordinary family scenes depicted as characters from the popular Sylvanian Families toy set. A description for the piece, called ISIS Threaten Sylvania, said:

Far away, in the land of Sylvania, rabbits, foxes, hedgehogs, mice and all woodland animals have overcome their differences to live in harmonious peace and tranquillity.

MICE-IS, a fundamentalist Islamic terror group, are threatening to dominate Sylvania, and annihilate every species that does not submit to their hard-line version of sharia law.

The decision provoked outrage from both the artist, Mimsy, and people online, who said the terrorist group should not be able to dictate what the British public can see. Mimsy said:

I love my freedom. I'm aware of the very real threat to that freedom from Islamic fascism and I'm not going to pander to them or justify it like many people on the left are doing.

Author Ben Goldacre tweeted:

Dear The British Police, I want you to protect free speech from violence, maybe spend less time on cannabis smokers?

Index on Censorship CEO Jodie Ginsberg said:

Concerns over terror are being inflated to such an extent that perfectly legitimate, non-criminal expression, is being shut down across Britain: from university campuses, to theatre stages, to art galleries. The upcoming extremism bill could worsen the situation further. In the case of the Sylvanian Families exhibit, we need to do more to ensure that police work with venues to promote freedom of expression, not stifle it.



The writing's on the vagina wall...

Major art installation vandalised at Versailles Palace

Link Here8th September 2015
Anish Kapoor's installation titled Dirty Corner has been vandalised for the second time. It is currently on show at the Palais de Versailles just outside Paris.

The contemporary work nicknamed the Queen's Vagina was daubed with insulting slogans targeted at French jews eg: The second rape of the nation by deviant Jewish activism.

Fabrice Bousteau, editor-in-chief of Beaux Arts magazine and a commissioner of contemporary art exhibitions told the Guardian.

There is a minor faction of the French population that is fascist about culture and especially about what it considers to be degenerate art. Most French people are respectful of contemporary art, but these people see it as an expression of France's degeneration.

Anish Kapoor has said he will keep the inscriptions, and in the sense that his work is a sociological statement, he is right to do so.

Kapoor's giant steel and rock sculpture, on display in the Versailles gardens facing the palace and measuring 200 feet long and 33 feet high, is a huge funnel, which the 61-year-old artist has admitted is very sexual . Shortly after it was unveiled in June, it was splattered with yellow paint. This was subsequently cleaned off.

This week, French president Francois Hollande condemned the latest attack and the antisemitic slogans sprayed on the sculpture as hateful . Culture minister Fleur Pellerin said she was angry and shocked .



Isis are not the only religious vandals...

Russian group vandalises historic art in the name of religion

Link Here1st September 2015
On Sunday over a thousand Russians protested in Saint Petersburg after a one hundred year old relief sculpture of a mythical demon was destroyed by a group calling themselves The Cossacks of Saint Petersburg highlighting the increased religious intolerance under President Vladimir Putin.

The figure of Mephistopheles, a bat-winged creature on Lakhtinskaya Street dated from 1910. It was said to depict the Russian opera singer Feodor Chaliapin, famed for his role of Mephistopheles.

The sculpture was torn off the facade of an Art Nouveau period building in Saint Petersburg, in a religiously-motivated act of cultural vandalism. Police have now launched an investigation.

More than a thousand people including architecture conservationists gathered in front of the building in the city centre to express their shock over what this brazen act of vandalism. Hands off art, read one placard, while another one said in English: Save our Saint Petersburg.

The Cossacks of Saint Petersburg group said in a statement:

Mephistopheles embodies evil in this world and this person decided to act, most likely, to kill Evil.

The figure encouraged "open worship of Satan" and was unacceptable because it was opposite a church.



Update: A baptism of intolerance...

Religious extremists vandalise sculptures at Moscow art exhibition

Link Here18th August 2015
Religious intolerants in Russia have attacked a major art exhibit in Moscow, claiming it offended their  beliefs and was therefore somehow illegal.

Members of God's Will, a Christian extremist group led by self-proclaimed missionary Dmitry Enteo Tsorionov, vandalised the Sculptures We Don't See exhibit at the Manezh, a vast exhibition space next to Red Square.

During the attack activists shouted that the works on display were offensive to people of faith and violated legislation introduced to deter protests such as that carried out by Pussy Riot.

In a video of the incident one of the activists rips a linoleum engraving of a naked Christ made by Vadim Sidur, known as the Soviet Henry Moore , off its plinth. She then throws it on the floor and stamps on it.

The group's leader Enteo targeted a work by another artist, Megasoma Mars. This sculpture was titled Beheading of St John the Baptist #2 and comprised a series of heads displayed on plates. Enteo seized one of the heads and smashed the plate it had been on.

As a result, four works by Sidur and one Mars were damaged, said a spokesperson for the gallery .

The legislation referred to by the religious vandals was a law making offending religious feelings a crime which was signed into law by Vladimir Putin in 2013.



A history of censorship...

Zimbabwe's censor board bans photography exhibition highlighting the historic topless culture in Africa

Link Here26th June 2015
Zimbabwe's Censorship Board has banned a photograohy exhibition by Crispen Nldovu.

The exhibition celebrated historical African culture when women used to go about their lives topless. It was also intended to support breast cancer awareness month.

Ndlovu formally wrote to the censors in June seeking clearance for the exhibition at the Bulawayo National Art Gallery.

But, in a letter to Ndlovu, the censors said the exhibition had been banned and prohibited in the country. Issac Chiranganyika, the board's acting secretary said:

Please be advised that the Board was convened to consider your application and recommended that the exhibition be banned and prohibited in Zimbabwe for the showing of bare breasts in Zimbabwe.

In an interview with, Ndlovu said:

This is a political move that is meant to silence people who are not in favour of the government of the day.



Queen's Vagina despoiled in Versailles...

Art work vandalised

Link Here19th June 2015
The British-Indian artist behind a controversial Queen's Vagina sculpture at Versailles has blasted an intolerance towards art in France , after the installation was vandalised.

Vandals have sprayed paint on a controversial sculpture in the grounds of the Palace of Versailles that has become known as the queen's vagina, the estate's management said:

Damage to the work 'Dirty Corner' was discovered Wednesday morning. It was lightly sprayed with paint. The work is being cleaned.

The 60-metre long, 10-metre high steel-and-rock abstract sculpture, by British-Indian sculptor Anish Kapoor, resembling a funnel in the form of an orifice, is set up in the garden aimed directly at the royal chateau.

The artist lamented an intolerance towards art in France. He told Le Figaro newspaper:

What a tragedy. How sad. You have to put this in perspective. If this act of vandalism says something, it's that there is a certain intolerance in France towards any kind of art.



Free as a Frozen Chicken...

Aberdeen college bans topless pictures from art exhibition

Link Here12th June 2015
An artist is embroiled in a censorship battle with a north-east college after her pictures of topless women were banned.

The work shows eight women with bare breasts, wearing masks and making different gestures and includes a feminist caption underneath the pictures reading: Women's breasts are not indecent -- sexist opinions are.

The artist Bibo Keeley wanted to put her piece, titled Free As a Bird , on display at a forthcoming exhibition in Aberdeen. But she was told it was 'not suitable' to be featured in the North East Scotland College Creative Arts End of Year Show. The answer remained no even after she offered to carry out some self-censorship and cover-up her models' nipples.

The student said she was told by lecturers at the college that the nudity in her image was not the issue, but rather the way it was displayed .



Petition: UpMarket censors...

Newport City Council: Allow Freedom of Expression and Stop Censorship of Artists' Work

Link Here25th May 2015
In 2013, Newport City Council, faced with the problem of an indoor market which has been central to Newport life for nearly 150 years, with traders leaving due to lack of trade, decided to allow artists free use of the upstairs space for studio, gallery and workshop space on the proviso that they do not sell from there. Now known as the UpMarket Galleries , it has been popular and successful, increasing footfall in Newport City Indoor Market and helping traders downstairs, as well as providing valuable studio space to those who cannot afford to rent spaces elsewhere.

Local artist Jonathan Sherwood (better known as Jonny), chair of Artopsy (a not-for-profit organisation aiming to provide artists with free/affordable spaces in which to produce and display their work, to engage with the community as a whole and to encourage upcycling/environmental issues) has been working there since the onset of the project. He has rarely taken a day off apart from when he has been ill. He is friendly and out-going and has many visitors regularly dropping by to see what he is working on. Jonny is one of Newport's most well-known artists locally and a documentary film entitled Jonny: Shaman of Rust has been made about him by Italian film-maker and director Massimo Salvato.

Jonny was invited by the committee running the UpMarket Galleries to exhibit a series of paintings in the central space. They are life-sized paintings on large sheets of paper depicting mainly nude people. The artist used nude images to show vulnerability. Indeed, one of the paintings depicts a man cleaning his disabled wife because she can't do it herself. The paintings deal with sensitive subjects and are not in any way sexual.

Jonathan's work was judged by the Market Manager to be obscene , which it certainly is not. It was forcibly removed and suffered damage and he has subsequently received a letter telling him that he has to vacate his space by 30th May. What qualifies the Market Manager to censor art? Simple signs at the bottom of the stairs and in the lift saying that if images of nudity offend you, then don't come up while this exhibition is on would have sufficed and there would not have been a problem.

We cannot allow unqualified people to censor our art.

Please sign the petition and share with your friends!



Modern Art?...

Fox News arrogantly reworks Picasso to modernise his art for the offenceophobic 21st Century

Link Here14th May 2015
  A leading US art critic has blasted Fox News for being sexually sick after the network blurred out the breasts on Pablo Picasso's The Women of Algiers in a report about the masterpiece being sold for a record amount.

The New York magazine senior art critic Jerry Saltz took to Twitter to voice his disapproval, tweeting:

How sexually sick are conservatives & Fox News? They blurred parts of the Picasso painting #SickMinds.

Other Twitter users also labelled the move as bizarre and pathetic .

In the screen grab of the report on Fox News, the nipples of three female figures are blurred out, despite its significance as a major artwork.



Offsite Article: Artists against Erdogan's censorship...

Link Here30th March 2015
Turkish artists feel oppressed by the government. Beyond censorship and commercial speculation, an alternative art scene offers some hope. By Ceyda Nurtsch.

See article from




Paris artwork censored by warnings of violence

Link Here3rd February 2015
An artwork depicting high-heeled shoes on Islamic prayer mats has been removed from an exhibition after warnings of possible muslim violence in the wake of the Paris attacks.

The French-Algerian artist, Zoulikha Bouabdellah, withdrew the work from an exhibition in a northern Paris suburb with a large Muslim population after an Islamic group told local authorities it could provoke uncontrollable, irresponsible incidents .

Ms Bouabdellah has replaced the artwork, Silence , previously exhibited in Paris, New York, Berlin and Madrid, with a video installation showing belly-dancing to the French national anthem, with swirling red, white and blue shawls symbolising the national flag.

The French artist Orlan, who also has a work on display in the all-female exhibition in Clichy La Garenne, commented on Facebook:

I protest against all pressures and/or threats that would result in a peaceful art work being pulled from an exhibition, be it due to a Christian group, a Muslim group, or a group of other beliefs.

Orlan said the removal of the artwork made a mockery of the principle of freedom of expression only weeks after the Charlie Hebdo attack and a huge solidarity march in Paris in which David Cameron and some 50 other world leaders took part.



Plan B for Exhibition B...

Vivarta, a new project to provide legal and practical information about controversial topics covered in the world of arts and the media

Link Here2nd February 2015

A new project will offer artists, producers and curators help in negotiating controversial issues.

Experts, lawyers and arts practitioners will produce a series of information packs examining the impact of current UK laws on the arts sector's practical freedom to present creative works. The packs will be published by new free expression advocacy organisation Vivarta , in collaboration with campaign organisation Index on Censorship and top law firms Bindmans LLP and Clifford Chance . The project is supported by Arts Council England. The new guides will be launched in May, with input from leading lights in the arts, civil liberties and legal spheres.

Covering legislation on public order, child protection, obscene publication, racial & religious hatred, and counter-terrorism, the packs will help informed decision making, contingency planning and risk assessment across the sector.

Julia Farrington of Vivarta said:

Arts professionals rarely get any training in legal issues that impact on freedom of artistic expression. These guides will give people across the arts more confidence in making decisions, with greater awareness of their legal rights and the role of the police.

Index CEO Jodie Ginsberg said:

The shutting down last year of performances like Exhibit B at The Barbican and Israeli hip hop opera The City in Edinburgh demonstrate that artists and venues continue to walk a delicate path when putting on challenging work. Often fear of opposition or protest forces groups to self-censor. We hope clearer guidance on tackling these issues can help to reverse that trend.



Offsite Article: Moral Panic 2.0: the era of progressive censorship...

Link Here 10th January 2015
Calls for dangerous art to be banned are now made by liberals. By Jacob Mchangama of Justitia

See article from

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