Monday, December 13, 2004

Every day, people in their own sweet way, like to add a coat of paint; and be what they ain't

Sigh. Let's go over this freedom of speech thing one more time: 1. You can (with very few limits) say, write or paint nearly anything you want. 2. No private citizen nor instrument of government is compelled to furnish space, physical or virtual, for you to do so. "Bush Monkeys," a small acrylic on canvas by Chris Savido, created the stir at the Chelsea Market public space, leading the market's managers to close down the 60-piece show that was scheduled to stay up for the next month. [...] "We had tons of people, like more than 2,000 people show up for the opening on Thursday night," said show organizer Bucky Turco. "Then this manager saw the piece and the guy just kind of flipped out. 'The show is over. Get this work down or I'm gonna arrest you,' he said. It's been kind of wild." Turco took the show down on Saturday and moved the art work to his small downtown Animal Gallery. Calls to the management of Chelsea Market for comment were not returned. [...] The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-bred artist said he was happy for all the attention paid to his work but said the decision to shutter the exhibit was "a blatant act of censorship." Savido plans to auction the painting and donate proceeds to an organization dedicated to freedom of expression. "This is much deeper than art. This is fundamental American rights, freedom of speech," Savido said. "To see that something like this can happen, especially in a place like New York City is mind boggling and scary." So...after being told that Mr. Savido's painting wasn't welcome in someone else's private gallery, this exhibition's organizer took it back to his own, where no government agent nor angry mob is preventing anyone from viewing it at their leisure. I'm confused; who's being censored how, exactly? (Via Fark and Brian Tiemann.)

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