Art & Censorship

Art has been around for a very long time and the issue with censorship has always been at hand. Public art has been controversial even before the Amendments were written up and before the National Endowment for the Arts were even established. The form and content of art is controversial because it attracts a storm of attention, passion, and controversy that raises this issue of censorship. The public is sensitive to topics such as nudity and viewing things that are not morally right and this is what causes so much controversy. Photographs can cause a great deal of controversy because of their nature, as well as their perception that they provide the most accurate depictions of reality. The work of Robert Mapplethorpe is probably one of the most notable examples. His X Portfolio included photos of gratuitous displays of genitalia, a variety of homoerotic acts, sexual mutilation, and two images of children with their genitals exposed. These works along with Andres Serrano's photograph of a crucifix immersed in urine, Piss Christ, were funded by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and prompted a huge debate



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