Thursday, April 23, 2009

Censorship takes a toll

For many years I have complained about being censored for art exhibitions because of my content. Just ask my wife, she'll tell you how well I play the artistic victim. Nude photographs have their limited audience as far as gallery and exhibitions go. Some galleries will not show photography, some are conservative and won't show nudes. So when I was given a solo exhibition slated for August at the ArtHouse Lounge gallery in Harrisburg, Pa, I was thrilled. The gallery owner is giving me complete freedom to show whatever I like. The theme is going to be a focused on my more erotic work. And since the exhibition isn't until August I have time to create more work. The problem is what do I shoot? I mean I thought I knew what I wanted to shoot and I had a couple models who were open to the idea, but I stopped short. When people ask me about the show I am hesitant when I speak about it. Isn't this what I have wanted for so many years? Isn't this my opportunity to show that erotic images of the human body can be art and not just slammed as pornography. (Not that I have anything against pornography) So why do I feel stifled when I am shooting or tongue tied when I speak about the show?
Have all the years being censored and trying to shoot what will show gone to my head? I feel that now that the handcuffs have been released and I can no longer bitch about being shut down that I have nothing to say. I feel like a bird that once the cage door has been opened doesn't leave, it's safe in here.
The artistic opportunity of my career is only months away and I feel like I am about to blow it because I can't get out of this cage.
When I first starting photographing nudes I was a college student and took all sorts of artistic risks, but after over 20 years in the real world I think the edgy side of my brain withered from lack of use.
Maybe electric shock therapy would help, or a few new people to work with who will say "Shoot me anyway you want."
The next couple of weeks are going to be quite interesting to see if I can break free of the social stigmas that have kept me back.
Stay tuned!

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