Monthly Archives: March 2008

Artreview.com – Nudity is banned but Erotic Art Group is not !!!

erotic art group

Subsequent to my preceding article concerning my ban from Artreview.com due to nudity being prohibited on the site, it has been suggested to me that if there are nude paintings or drawings on the Artreview website, it would in-fact amoun to discrimination against my art, as opposed to simply a general rule of not allowing nudity.

I decided to look into this possibility a little further, and discovered that another photographic artist did indeed have nude photographs on the site, and nude paintings and drawings were also present.

I wrote an e-mail to the Web Editor of Artreview “Mr. James Westcott”, asking him to explain first and foremost why nudity was banned from a website that proclaims itself to be at the forefront of the art-world. I subsequently raised the question as to why I had been banned when another photographer had nude images on the site. Unfortunately, Mr. Westcott has to date elected to ignore my correspondence. It would seem that Mr. Westcott’s preferred method of answerability is to ignore all / any such questions that he either cannot answer or will not answer.

Today, I have noticed that the other photographer in question to whom I referred, seems to have disappeared from Artreview.com, along with all of his images. Perhaps yet another victim of Mr. James Westcott’s attempt to rid the art-world of nudity !

Sadly for Mr. Westcott, he seems to be fighting a losing battle, because despite being the Web Editor of Artreview.com, he seems to have seriously over-looked the fact that one of the member artists has created a Group entitled “Erotic Art”. This Group not only contains images (including photographs of nudity, but blatant pornography ! The link to the page in question is the following:-

http://www.artreview.com/group/eroticart

Now either Mr. Westcott is oblivious to the fact that this Group exists (although surely when a Group is created it is at least moderated to some extent by the Web Editor ?), or Mr. Westcott has decided that the images do not breach his rules of no nudity ? In whatever case, there are clearly questions be be answered.

My concern in this matter is not to have my ban at Artreview lifted, but to identity the true motivation of the Web Editor in question. If indeed I am facing discrimination here, I will certainly be considering my recourse options. If that is not the case, and it is simply a matter of Mr. James Westcott trying to protect the world at large from nudity and erotica, I think the UK registered company Art Review Limited should series be asking themselves is this how an art based website should be edited ?

Ultimately, only Mr. James Westcott can enlighten us. he is a prolific writer, having written many articles relating to art and art based subject matters. What a pity therefore he does not have the time to comment on this art-based issue and reply to my e-mail correspondence !

Mr. Westcott, if you should read this (and I shall ensure you do), I and many artists like me would be interested to read your explanations.

NOTE: Since posting this article, Mr. Westcott has deleted the link in question. Notwithstanding, the site still contains nudity, so seemingly, this is a matter of discrimination.

Nudity is not Art ?

artreview.com

Just a few days back, I received an invitation via e-mail to join the website Artreview.com. After having a quick browse of the site, I decided why not. The site describes itself as follows:-

“artreview.com is an exciting new social networking site for the artworld, creating a global forum for discussion, interactivity and debate.

Our members are artists, galleries, collectors, critics, curators and the curious. As a members of artreview.com, you can:

  • Post artwork, blogs, videos and audio and have members rate and comment on it
  • Find exciting new artists from around the world
  • Sniff through last night’s party pics and post your own
  • Keep up to date with news and access ArtReview magazine archives
  • Find the galleries that represent the artists with ArtFinder
  • Create your own discussion groups and forums
  • Promote yourself and make friends

artreview.com is a unique blend of editorial and community content, combining the insight and critical weight of some of today’s most important artworld voices with the input and opinions of everyday enthusiasts from around the world. artreview.com lets the artworld do the talking.”

I signed-up online as required, and spent quite some time diligently completing the various fields of information, profile, etc. They also have an image upload option, whereby you can bulk upload images, so I just took a block of images that I currently have with my galleries, and dropped them in the upload box. Whilst uploading, I received several friend requests and even a few positive comments on my work from fellow members. I even added a few friends myself, a couple of which I already know through other such sites.

A short time later, whilst my image uploads were still in progress, I received an e-mail informing me I had been banned from the site ! I then received a subsequent e-mail, informing me of the following:-

“Dear Thomas

We do not like to have purely erotic images such as yours on artreview.com; it’s not the kind of atmosphere we want to cultivate. Please remove your all images containing nudity immediately or unfortunately we will have to ban you from the site.
Thanks
James
////////////
James Westcott
Web Editor
artreview.com
ArtReview:
1 Sekforde Street
London EC1R 0BE
T: +44 (0) 20 7107 2770
F: +44 (0) 20 7107 2761
M: +44 (0) 7894 731890″
It was rather strange that I received the message only after I had already been banned, but I found it even more strange that a UK website proclaiming itself to be “an exciting new social networking site for the artworld, creating a global forum for discussion, interactivity and debate“, does not allow nudity ?
I immediately sent an e-mail to Mr. James Westcott, expressing in no uncertain terms my dissatisfaction, and enquiring as to how an artist such as myself could have been invited to join his site at the outset, when my main-stream subject matter is art-nude and erotic-nude, both genre having full and total recognition within the art world ? Mr. Westcott replied accordingly:-
“Dear Thomas
We don’t allow such explicit nudity on the site. I can unban you from the site if you agree to only post images without nudity.
Best
James”
Of course, it is somewhat of a problem for an artist such as myself to post works with no nudity, when my work is primarily that ! I did however agree to post no images if he lifted the ban, simply to allow me to express my views within the Blog section of the site, but needless to say, the ban remains !
I am thus making this posting in my principal Blog here at Absolute Arts, together with other public meeting sites, as I believe such restrictive practises can only be damaging to the art-world, which should pride itself in being democratic and as free as possible from censorship, especially by somebody who proclaims to be representing the art-world itself. It’s also interesting to note that the terms and conditions of artreview.com as published on their website, don’t seem to make any reference whatsoever to nudity being prohibited ?
It’s rare indeed that I take the time to publish anything of this nature, but I feel most strongly that artreview.com and Mr. James Westcott are not at all legitimately representative of the art-world. I have requested a more detailed clarification from Mr. Westcott, but he has elected to ignore me. I think that says it all !

Vernissage Feature at Libera Eva, Italy.

Liberaeva

As of today, I am featured on the front page of the Italian art website Libera Eva, where I have a vernissage of my portfolio of images. Be sure to pay a visit. Thanks.

Patronage & Investment Feature at Art2Bank

art2bank logo

I have a feature currently in the Patronage and Investment section of the Art2Bank website. This feature relates to my commission for the Paris, France office of US law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, and can be read here. Thanks.