Friday, May 14, 2010

From Marc DeBauch

Hello Erotic Art Aficionados! Censorship is alive and well within the GLBT community.

I submitted the attached image:

“MANSWEAT” 2006 oil on canvas 12”x9”

to the Twin Cities 2010 Pride Art Show and it was rejected because the jury found it “too erotic”.

The jury didn’t want to offend anyone that would visit the exhibition venue,

The Art Institutes International Minnesota, a well known school for graphic design and culinary arts.

After speaking with several artists and friends I wrote the following email to Rob Anderson the coordinator of the 2010 PRIDE Art Show.

I’d love to hear your opinion.

But it would be better if you could tell Rob Anderson, the Grand Marshal’s Reception & Pride Art Show Coordinator what you think about a gay pride festival censoring an image of a shirtless man. His email and contact info are below.

Erotically Yours,
Marc DeBauch

Rob Anderson
Director of Residence Life & Housing
The Art Institutes International Minnesota
15 Ninth Street South
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Phone: 612.656.6835 Fax: 612.656.7680

Dear Robert,

I have had time to think about our conversation today and bounced it off of many people, including several gay and lesbian artists in our community. The jury for the 2010 Pride Art Show has set a dangerous precedent in rejecting my art, because they deemed it too erotic for the venue. Why was nothing mentioned in the 2010 Pride Art Show Guidelines about erotic, nude or semi-nude artwork being ineligible for the show? I have had my art in two other Pride Art Shows and nudity was never an issue for male or female figures. Considering my art work that was rejected was a painting of man without a shirt showing nothing further than an inch or two below the hip. It appears that someone is really going overboard with censorship. If the venue truly is the issue, perhaps the choice between censoring artwork and not having a show at the Art Institutes International of Minnesota came down to not offending a non-gay public? The home page of the Art Institutes International of Minnesota states the following; “There is a vibrant energy at The Art Institutes International Minnesota, one that fuels a student’s desire to do their best. Students are supported by a close and caring community bound by mutual respect for individuality and creativity.”

Does this jury realize that attempting to make this art show “safe to the general public” it is actually being offensive to gays and lesbians? Especially gay and lesbian artists. You actually had the balls to ask me to submit work that would be “more acceptable for this show and venue.” Why don’t you just ask me to crawl back into the closet? If the art that gay and lesbians enjoy, is not welcome by the Art Institutes International of Minnesota, then it clearly it is NOT the right venue for our community’s Pride Art Show. Instead of being about PRIDE this exhibition is about shame. The jury is too ashamed to exhibit the diverse artists of the GLBT community. The jurors are not willing to stand up and say “no this is wrong, we should not have a show at the Art Institutes International of Minnesota because we would have to censor our artists. Art is about freedom of expression. Without that freedom, all gays and lesbians would still be in the closet, there would be no Pride Parades or Pride Festivals.

Marc DeBauch


  1. Totally ridiculous!!

    What if the same painting of a shirtless male torso were done by a straight female artist?

    And what about the great artists Michaelangelo and Da Vinci?? They created much more erotic art, passed as figure studies and even religious iconography! Does this Art Institute not have life drawing classes with live models??

    Even if your painting had shown a man with an erection, or two men kissing, it should be deemed completely appropriate for a fucking GAY art show!! How utterly, utterly dumbfounding, in 2010 that a shirtless (and beautifully painted, BTW) male torso could even for a second be considered "inappropriate" for **any** art show, let alone a gay pride exposition!

    I really hope this jury and the chair are inundated with protests! Make one wonder what other art was rejected on the same grounds... I'm sure there was work submitted that was much more graphic, exposed, or erotic by many artists involved.

    Censorship is always infuriating... I wish you luck, and assume you will be posting updates to let us all know what results.

    Dumbfounded, really. The work is beautiful and I can't imagine how anyone, especially among the LGBT community, or even the greater art community could possibly be offended.

  2. I will make sure Marc gets your comment

  3. Are the people on this jury completely stupid? Who in the world would this painting offend, it is a beautiful piece of art. There are more explicit pieces in Public Art Galleries all over the world! You would certainly see more than this shows on any public beach. This isn't censorship this is anti gay prejudice.
    On another point. I am sorry but I do not like the new page format, this article was extremely hard to read and it distracts from the great photo posts.
    an avid follower.

  4. Robert Anderson has to be accepting graft, and should step down from his position, if he has any self respect. What else could possibly render such a decision?

    To deem a portrait of a man's torso as inappropriate for any art exhibit is absolutely archaic, and alarmingly suspect.

    To know that Arts Institute International Minnesota is represented by such inept thinking is indeed a reflection of its caliber.

    Robert Anderson should be revealed to proper authorities, and be required to explain, apologize, and resign.

  5. I do not know if it was a glitch on my computer but I have just popped back for another look at the "MIX" post only to find there is now a beige background to every thing which wasn't there before. Fantastic! Now every thing is ledge-able and the photos look great. If this was in response to my earlier post, Thank You John for listening.

  6. Since when was a study of the human form too erotic?? The human body is one of the most beautiful forms, and has been admired and drawn since man could hold something to draw. I have seen way more erotic images of women at straight festivals. Plain ridiculous. Minnesota is showing just how prejudice it can be.