The penis problem: Toronto Art Fair in a censorship battle over male nudes
We’re used to viewer’s discretion advisories for everything from CSI to Freaks and Geeks reruns, but somehow censor warnings on art exhibits are more controversial. Chelsea-based painter Andrew Morrow is set to show a collection of sexually charged male nudes at October’s Toronto Art Fair, but the organizers want him to display a warning to visitors and rope off the exhibit with black curtains. Morrow and his sponsor, Patrick Mikhail, are not impressed. “Here we are, right under the CN Tower, telling artists they can’t put their work on in full public view,” Mikhail told the Ottawa Citizen.
Organizers deny their requests amount to censorship and argue the fair has an obligation to consider sensitive visitors and minors. “We have no objection to erotic art—half of the show has nudity—but on this particular occasion [Morrow’s work] has very explicit sexual content,” said manager Linel Rebenchuk. When Morrow staged an exhibit of male nudes last August at Ottawa’s city hall, the reception was generally favourable (though one visitor wrote, “The world is ending and all you can think about are giant penises?” in the guest book). Here’s hoping the paintings are seriously pornographic, because letting Bytown top Hogtown in edginess would be a kick in the crotch.
• Too hot for T.O. – Chelsea artist’s male nudes not welcome at art fair [Ottawa Citizen]