Women, Art and Censorship


I recently had the opportunity to do this illustration for SCAN magazine as part of an illustration spread on censorship in art. Controversy surrounding censorship in art is often centered around nudity and in this illustration I wanted to portray that aspect of censorship. At the same time censorship in art is about more than nudity. It is about our culture, our sense of morality and even the ever controversial idea of free speech. In this illustration I want to ask questions about these issues without offering answers. Instead my intention is to start a conversation. It is difficult to go into any art museum without seeing at least one painting or sculpture of a nude, so it is a conversation that cannot be avoided. Here are some questions I encourage you to consider whether you are looking at the above illustration, at the Creation of Adam or at an exhibition like Lucian Freud retrospective at the Fort Worth Modern.   Should art be censored? By the government? By museums and galleries? By individual viewers? Is there a universal moral standard, a line that should never be crossed, or do we make things forbidden by hiding them behind closed doors? If we censor the body, are we also censoring the mind? Are we closing ourselves off to valid ideas and expressions by closing ourselves off to nudity? Is all nudity objectifying? If it does not objectify, what does it do? Is there a difference between male and female nudity in art? Should there be? Is censoring ideas different than censoring nudity? Should ideas ever be censored in art? What doors do you want to remain closed? Which doors will you choose to open?

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