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Should Art or Design Be Censored?

Should Art or Design Be Censored?

Mike Lenhart

Censor Art?

Art has been around for a long time. Censorship has been around possibly just as long. Can the two intermingle? Can some art be deemed too inappropriate for some to see and thus censored? Who is it up to to even consider this? I have a few opinions on this.

Art as Fine Art

While art can be defined as something beautiful and inspiring, fine art usually entails things that are personal to the artist. This art is meant to be viewed and feelings and opinions are meant to be culled from this. There may be an entirely different meaning for the art to the artist that the viewing public may also see. They may also generate their own feelings. It’s all good. Sometimes an artist creates a work that may be considered by certain parts of society as taboo. This can cause controversy and quite a stir among some. Does this mean that the art should not be displayed or viewed? I don’t think so.

Open Minds Equal Open Hearts

There have been galleries, libraries, and even art Websites that have closed-down, or banned, certain works by artists because there may be a human body part or some other so-called controversial subject matter contained. Who is to judge this? I feel when an artist’s work is banned, or censored, that there has been a disservice done to them. It is sort of like saying, "This is offensive. This is not good enough for us to put on display. It is a slap in the face to the artist. An open mind should prevail. Art needs to be viewed as art, and not some sort of subversive or pornographic display. In my experience, the more open I am to all works of art, the more I learn about the art – and me.

Give It a Chance

Of course, we all can choose to look at something or not. The artist has a right to free speech and so does the viewer. Dialogue and discussion needs to happen – not censorship. I feel that if society would just settle down a little and not tend to be so judgmental, there may be a little more love and acceptance in the world. A pipe dream? I don’t know, but I think we can start somewhere.

One Last Note

One thing we need to consider when submitting art or other items to portfolio or art sites is that there are certain corporate guidelines and agreements that the sites may have. Even if we may not like it, that’s the way it is. Remember the Facebook/BreastFeeding controversy? Well, the corporate guidelines and agreements came out and certain images were taken off the site. After an outcry, some of the guidelines were changed while others were not. I’m not saying to complain to every site that you encounter, just remember that voices and opinions to go somewhere – it all depends on the presentation. Art rules!


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