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.
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
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.