Art Fag City at The L Magazine: With Genitals, Maybe Less is More

by Paddy Johnson on August 29, 2012 · 1 comment The L Magazine

Freight and Volume Installation view

This week at The L Magazine I explore what constitutes risking taking art. I find very little.

“Whatever you think of the art, it has to be applauded for taking risks,” a friend told me recently. “The art in Chelsea is so safe.” He was talking about Freight + Volume’s The Double Dirty Dozen (& Friends) (through Sep 22), a show that explores the quest for freedom of expression by surveying the depiction of erect penises and juicy vaginas in art. More than 50 artists were invited to participate.

I have some reservations about my friend’s assessment of the show. A dick for dick’s sake isn’t ever going to be so risqué that it’s worth lauding. To be safe in contemporary art doesn’t mean keeping your clothes on—it means keeping your message vague.

Sadly, there’s a lot of this kind of confusion in the exhibition.

To read the full piece click here.

  • Julie Baugh

    I’m no expert on these things, but other painters tell me that people will go to exhbitions to look at nudes if there are any on display, but that they don’t actually buy them. I suppose people don’t want their family or friends making fun or being offended by such paintings so go for safe options instead. I’m sure there is a huge variation in what different people will consider controversial.

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