The Elsie May Goodwin Art Center, run by the Stockton Art League, rejected a sculpture by one of its members—Vincent Mazo—because the piece was too anatomically explicit. The gallery has no policy excluding nudes, but, according to Aleen Gall, the gallery manager, the nudes normally exhibited are female and show no genitals. Interesting, I thought genitals were a part of the human body (at least before cloning becomes the preferred mode of reproduction).

Stockton, Ms. Gall explained, is a conservative community and children might see the work. The fact that we hear these arguments time and again when nudes in art are concerned does not make them any more convincing. So what if children see a nude? What if they see a classical Venus or a Michelangelo David? What is so horrible about the human body that it should be hidden from view? No answer is offered to these questions—only some repeated reference to the possible emotional response of the conservative community.

It is a shame that a predominantly artist run space would censor one of the most important traditional subjects of art?the human body.

Vincent Mazo, Awakening


To see a recent NCAC article on the subject, click here.
For more information contact:

Svetlana Mintcheva, Arts Advocacy Coordinator
National Coalition Against Censorship
212/607-8222 x23