In the sex paranoid tradition of Temecula, Cailifornia, the city of Gig Harbor, Washington has condemned a photograph in the Peninsula Art League’s (PAL) annual juried show for being inappropriate. According to Kitsap Sun:
The photograph, entitled “Kaisa Two,” is by Seattle artist Malcolm Edwards.
According to Anne Knapp, PAL president, art league members “are very concerned that the city, which does not have a written art policy in place, has made a decision to ban the piece from the show.”
The real money quote is here:
Councilman Derek Young stated that PAL is a guest in City Hall. “If we can’t trust you to use good judgment on what is in your shows, then maybe we should just end our relationship. There has to be some common sense. PAL needs to have some self-enforcement. I don’t want to be in a position of censoring art,” he said.
Where Mr Young’s comment fails is that the Peninsula Art League, sponsor of the exhibit, did use good judgment. They simply didn’t take into account the sexual immaturity and backwardness of a city council that is willing to condemn artistic nudity even in a totally benign and non-sexual context. Furthermore, his suggestion that PAL needs to censor itself because he doesn’t “want to be in a position of censoring art” is the definition of self-serving political idiocy. Forcing PAL to censor itself in advance doesn’t diminish his culpability for it even a smidgen and implying it does basically makes him look like an idiot in front of the whole world. Nice work, Derek.
Meanwhile, the offending photograph has been moved to For Art Sake Gallery in the Finholm District.
Gallery owner Rebecca Westerin said she is pleased to display the piece.
“I’ve staged several figurative shows here at the gallery,” Westerin said. “I’m honored and delighted to host a beautiful artwork of this caliber.
Good for Ms. Westerin. Could it talk, I’m sure the photograph is quite delighted to be in a higher caliber venue not subject to an ignorance straight out of the Middle Ages.
For more of this artist’s work visit Malcolm Edwards Photography.