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February 16, 2011

Censorship and the opportunity it brings

Across the street at the Two Wall Gallery, Greg Davila and Monica Gripman's amazing love-theme art was shown with several other artists for the month of February. When the owners (specifically Louise Rice and her daughter Wendy) of the building showed up, they went flippin' nuts.

They personally took down the images and delivered them to the Heron's Nest in the same building. They (Louise and/or Wendy) were noted as saying the images were of "HOMOSEXUAL CONTENT AND OFFENSIVE LANGUAGE." The artists and curators were notified. I was also in the loop and decided to document the images that were removed, the images that were left, and how I feel about it.

One of Two Walls, now bare of Greg Davila's work.

In the back, there was a bunch of trash, ladders and crap. I found this more offensive than the art.

Davila's wall again.

This empty case is in the gallery too. It was also offensive because it was barren.

A few additional images of art that was not removed (I've updated the pictures to be horizontally or vertically correct, just for you Mr. Petersen). I've included my own, over-the-top interpretation of how offensive the remaining show could be, leaving me feeling puzzled about the reason Gripman and Davila's work was removed:
St. Sebastian probably wasn't a white man. Offensive. (I previously assumed in the heat of the moment it was Jesus Christ and was corrected).

Full artistic frontal, nipple, etc. Offensive.

Full artistic backside. Offensive.

Nipple. Offensive.

These girls do NOT look of age. Offensive.

Sci-fi nipple. Offensive.

Sci-fi cleavage. Provocative.

(Recent addition:) There's a naked body on her head! Offensive.

Here's a few of the art that was removed. We shot the images at Good Merchandise where they can now be viewed from the outside and to the public.

This one is by Monica Gripman. It has the eff word in it. Offensive.

Two men, and I can't tell if they're naked, can you? Offensive.

Totally non-hetero, PG13 image. I was more bothered by an episode of Parenthood last night than this image.

See two lovers embracing on the left? Offensive.

Woman in mirror, with breasts covered, with topless individual. Offensive.

All of the images from Monica and Greg can be viewed at Good Merchandise.

We 100% believe in our rights as citizens of the United States, which includes

Very Progressively,


  1. Is it wrong that I really want to own the "So fucking cool" piece? Does that make me offensive as well? I certainly hope so.

  2. Freaking retarded, the people who removed these fine works of art, that's what they are, art, making a statement. Sexual scenes are one of the most active scenes created by artists. It's a freedom of expression.
    Plus, I ask this, wasn't humanity once naked and exposed to the world? yes.
    these works, (No matter the content of gender) is something that I would buy and even put into my own home, no matter the opinion of my guest.
    These works are extremely beautiful.
    That is all

  3. I'm certain that Enoch Tobin is pleased to see his "offensive" representational nipple taken down from the wall.
    This was a fine show! Perhaps the owners should limit the shows at their venue to ones without any human images represented... and say so. I'm sure that there's art being made that they'd find acceptable to their restrictions... but they should have made that clear to the persons who curate the shows.
    Thanks for the info, AnnaLisa!
    chow ^..^

  4. I can understand where the Two Walls owners views are coming from...puritanical, religious, homophobic, etc...and I respect their right to have those views. However, applying those views to all of the public in a public space is wrong...90% of the people who were there are adults and can make up their own minds whether to turn away or not. The other 10% are youngsters who are young enough to either not care or be inspired.

  5. You can't BUY publicity this good - that hallway will be teeming with people looking for censor-worthy art from here on out (that is if they let Jack keep curating). Thanks for the post, and thanks also for noticing the nipple, cleavage and naked lady in my collages :-)

  6. Wow - at one point I was looking at office space in that building. So glad not to be there. Wonder what the lease looks like between the Two Wall Gallery and the off island bldg. owners? I would be happy to take a look at it and see if they owners even had the right to take down the artwork.

    Barb Rhoads-Weaver

  7. My wife and I spent Friday night on Vashon, our first trip there ever. On our way back to the ferry on the 18th, we stopped in town for a bit of shopping. My wife was delighted to find Tobin's "Norma" painting in the Two Walls Gallery where it was displayed, and we bought it on the spot for the asking price, oblivious to the local controversy. We saw the "censored" sign in your window across the street, but had no idea why it was there. Norma now hangs proudly above my wife's tub, nipple and all.

    Interesting that the owners don't live on the island, as we could tell that the residents seemed to take pride in their art.

  8. Anna Lisa---I am touched by your generosity and open-mindedness. You are a glimmer of hope in an otherwise vast, grey landscape of apathy. Thank you, thank you very much.