in Honor of
Otto Dix & Thomas Eakins
Thérèse Dreaming by Balthus
Art censorship is rearing its proverbial ugly head again. The snobs seem to have got a bug up their ass about one of a Balthus’s (aka Balthasar Klossowski de Rola) paintings.
Here is a snip of their complaint:
“When I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art this past weekend, I was shocked to see a painting that depicts a young girl in a sexually suggestive pose. Balthus’ painting, Thérèse Dreaming, is an evocative portrait of a prepubescent girl relaxing on a chair with her legs up and underwear exposed.
It is disturbing that the Met would proudly display such an image. They are a renowned institution and one of the largest, most respected art museums in the United States. The artist of this painting, Balthus, had a noted infatuation with pubescent girls, and it can be strongly argued that this painting romanticizes the sexualization of a child.”
Let me give you my take on this topic up front….
The complainant seems to have their own ‘fixation’ or ‘infatuation’ on controlling the world and making what is legal…illegal. I don’t go for censorship in art. If it is legal…we can do as we like. Legality is the only limiting factor in an art. Artists need some room to work and create, art cannot flourish under censorship.
Making a Train Seymour Joseph Guy
Philadelphia Museum of Art
The trend nowadays is for mobs to threaten violence or defacement to institutions if they don’t get their way. What I would do is to put up a reproduction of the art that was threatened or even a inkjet print with an explanation as to why the original could not be shown. Or if you got deep pockets, put it behind bullet proof glass as a first choice.
Balthus has been a big influence on many an artist…
…a painting after Balthus
Sure, Balthus had a thing for teen girls. But so what?
The Guitar Lesson Balthus
Again if it is legal, the artist is free to do as they like. The cutoff is always legalities, not popular opinion for the artist. (Unless they are $$ motivated.)
Now, if the artist is working for a paying client or wants to stay in good favor of public opinion, then they have to do their art for someone else.
This is one of the benefits of being underground, I don’t have to answer to anyone but my art and what is legal. The drawback of being underground is that I get snubbed at every turn and no $ flows in cause I get labeled not fit for public display or even polite conversation.
I don’t have time to research everything I put on my blogs. This ad may be a real deal or just some bullshit creation on the internet with no connection with the apparel company. I gave it a quick look see to confirm and could not find anything supporting it. In any case, whether real or fake, it is an interesting juxtaposition.
Sometimes the mobs will settle for an explanation / apology for having to show the art. Don’t Do It! Never make excuses for art. The art should speaks for itself or it is not good art.
Art should always move us, but no one can say in what direction we are moved. That is up to the personal prejudice, likes and dislikes of the viewer. But one thing is for sure…if we are moved to love or hate…it is good art!
I always try to look at both sides of an issue, the alpha and omega of any project I take on. If you hate this art and want it removed, here is your petition to sign…you can’t say I am not fair!
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