Pubic Hair Painting Censored in London
Yes, pubic hair is still as taboo as it was back in Gustave Courbet’s day, when the well-heeled Parisian elite recoiled in horror in front of his Origine du Monde. More than a century later, a painting by Leena McCall, entitled Portrait of Ms Ruby May, Standing was withdrawn from the Society of Women Artists’ 153rd annual exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London after being deemed “disgusting” and “pornographic,” the Guardian reports.
“As an educational arts charity, the federation has a responsibility to its trustees and to the children and vulnerable adults who use its galleries and learning centre,” said the Mall Galleries in a statement. “After a number of complaints regarding the depiction of the subject and taking account of its location en route for children to our learning centre, we requested the painting was removed.”
The offender? A triangle of pubic hair, unabashedly revealed. The model, who, according the publication, leads “erotic workshops,” wanted to own her pilosity, a mark of femininity too often vilified.
It was too much for the public, however, and Portrait of Ms Ruby May had to make way for another, tamer nude by McCall. But the artist is fighting back, and has started a campaign encouraging supporters to tweet @mallgalleries using the hash-tag #eroticcensorship.
In a statement, the SWA, which rented the Mall Galleries for its annual exhibition, said the painting was taken down without its approval.
Follow Artnet News on Facebook:
Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.