Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Media & Censor This 2

So it has been just over two full weeks since my exhibition, Censor This 2 opened at the ArtHouse Lounge in Harrisburg, PA, and a few local media outlets have picked up the story.
The Patriot-News newspaper and the ABC affiliate channel 27 in Harrisburg.

Both did a story on the exhibition, in the case of the Patriot-News, they did multiple stories before it even opened, plus had a reporter at the opening reception.

In both cases the stories were about erotic art in general and the gallery owner used them as publicity to promote the gallery saying how open he is to all different sorts of artwork. The articles were straight forward, focused on the nudity aspect and the sexual content.

The ABC news story ran with the reporter walking around talking about how they can't show the art, how the gallery owner does not censor art, but actually nothing about the quality of the work. The reporter actually never showed his face in the piece. He mentioned that he looked at the images...twice. He went on to talk about how there was no protest, he seemed disappointed, and then talked about the provocative poses and my use of what he called props. At which time the camera zooms into a pair of leather hand cuffs. Then he made a tongue-in-cheek comment that it seemed, "no one was harmed during the making of the exhibit and that some enjoyed it very much."

So I am not sure whether to be happy that my name got on the news or upset that they honestly did not take it seriously. They never talked about my artist statement, or why I chose to do this exhibition. In fact they never spoke to me at all. They only interviewed the gallery curator.

The funny part about all of this is that the gallery curator never saw the work until I actually hung it. But he did give me cart-blanch to show whatever I wanted. So you have to give credit where credit is due.

My concern is that is was publicized in a very distasteful manner and that the news media tried to sensationalize it or worse yet, joke about it.

So is it possible, in the United States, to get accepted as a "real" artist and shoot erotic images?

The market for art photography is a small portion of the art market as a whole, then divide out the people who like nudes and then divide out further those who like erotica, you end up with an extremely small population of erotic nude art enthusiasts. So the handling of the media has to be very carefully crafted. In this case, the gallery just took the publicity and ran with it. With no regard to my artistic integrity.

I guess I should be grateful, the images have gotten out of my brain and onto a gallery walls.

But I keep asking myself, at what cost?

What do you think? Let me know.

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