NOTE: This article contains some ever-so-slightly NSFW imagery, unless your workplace is cool with painted nipples.
The deft hand behind those gigantic Kim Kardashian murals that popped up in both Sydney and Melbourne last week isn’t just bound to the Kardashian family tree for their output, as it turns out.
But what is apparently a running common theme in their work is that of censorship, whether its wanted or not.
Following on from last week’s brouhaha over the repeated defacing and slut-shaming bollocks that arsehole idiots decided to slather all over the Kardashian mural in Melbourne, we have a fresh round of defacement.
Artist lushsux – the only Australian artist to be featured in Banksy‘s gargantuan Dismaland installation – put up a pair of works in iconic Melbourne street-art hotspot Hosier Lane, an area of the city that’s hosted a rotating cast of bold, challenging, spectacular public art for eons.
Lushux called for volunteers to willingly send in nudes of themselves, with the intent of painting them two-stories high on the walls of the laneway. A pair of willing and badass types obliged.
@lolaviande two stories tall in Hosier lane, Melbourne. Has since been censored by someone ?? I wonder what the reaction would be if someone went into the national gallery and started censoring pre raphaelite paintings of women?
But the pieces didn’t even make it through the morning rush before they felt the wrath of censorship’s hammer from the City of Melbourne. Unveiled yesterday morning, city council workers were on the scene by 9:30am with paint and a haphazard desire to “think of the children.”
The City Council confirmed that it was their contractors who imposed the censorship on the pieces through a spokesman.
“Hosier Lane is an iconic public space and we need to strike a balance to ensure that all members of our city can enjoy the public art on display. In this case, our contractors censored the images based on Council’s street art guidelines. These guidelines correspond with the Australian Public Broadcasting guidelines for nudity in advertising and public places.”
The Council’s graffiti management plan explicitly states what is and isn’t cool to display in Melbourne public spaces, stating that is a criminal offense to “create offensive graffiti that is visible from a public place if that graffiti would offend a reasonable person.” This, despite the fact that the phrase “a reasonable person” is about as open to interpretation as any phrase ever coined, and the fact that painting nudes is a practice in the art-form that’s almost as old as the art-form itself, with numerous examples of “classical” nude portraiture currently on very public display in Government-funded museums and galleries across the city.
Lushsux spoke to Fairfax Media and asserted that it’s merely a modern spin on an eons-old artistic practice.
“It’s an update on the old thing of getting a model to stand in one place for 10 hours while you paint her on canvas in the nude in a dingy Parisian studio. But instead of all that drama, the model can just DM a nude and after that I can then paint it on a wall.”
And yet here we are with city council going full Langman family on everyone.
The children. Won’t somebody think of them.
Author’s post-script: I’m putting this other piece of lushsux’s work here because it’s the freaking best and I couldn’t figure out a way to include organically in the body of this article.
Source: The Age.