Martyrdom (visual art)

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Date: 2008

Region: North America

Subject: Nudity

Medium: Installation Painting


Martyrdom.jpg

Artist: Erika Risko; Mayer Fine Art

Confronting Bodies: Management of the building where Mayer's Fine Art is located

Dates of Action: July 2008

Location: Norfolk, Virginia, United States

Description of Artwork: Four canvases that collectively depict a woman's nude torso and arms.

The Incident: Erika Risko's work, Martyrdom, was exhibited at Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia without incident. The piece also showed in a student exhibit in Washington, D.C. called Early Look, without complaint. Mayer's Fine Art Gallery chose to display Early Look in Norfolk, including Risko's work. Building management complained that the nude, female breasts depicted in the work were offensive and the piece should be removed from exhibit.

Results of Incident: Instead of removing Martyrdom, the gallery owner decided to cover the breasts, in an effort to make the building management's demand look foolish. There was also talk of plans to ask guests to design "tasteless" pasties which will be rotated over Martyrdom's breasts for the rest of the month.

Source: Phillyist (www.phillyist.com)