Gatewood Photographs at the Rita Dean Gallery

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Date: 1994

Region: North America

Subject: Explicit Sexuality , Nudity

Medium: Photography


Artist: Charles Gatewood

Confronting Bodies: San Diego Police Department, and local tour company

Dates of Action: 1994

Location: San Diego, California

Description of Artwork: Six large-scale photographic silkscreens of various subjects, including a nude woman in a reclining position.

The Incident: Responding to a complaint from a local tour company, San Diego police asked the Rita Dean Gallery owners, Cathee Schultz and J.D. Higgins, to remove Gatewood's pieces from their front window, allegedly threatening the two with arrest. Schultz and Higgins placed pieces of cardboard reading "Censored" over the subject's nipples and groin areas.

Results of Incident: Artist Charles Gatewood responded by contacting the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties, who informed the San Diego police of their violation of the First Amendment. When the gallery removed the cardboard pieces, there was no response from the San Diego police.

Source: Artistic Freedom Under Attack