Pornagraphy or Art?


Porno from my collection – Eve by Altay Sadigzade

For many years I was an art dealer in Jacksonville, Florida. I owned a gallery called Spiller Vincenty with Kim, and we began by importing post-Glasnost Russian art. It was the first generation of art to emerge from the former Soviet Union after the government disbanded their system of recognizing talent in the young; training that talent in the classics; and then only allowing them to paint images favorable to the party line.

The result was an interesting combination of unleashed iconography; derivative reminiscence; rage against repression; ironic propaganda; and the runaway ingenuity of artistic creation without restraint.

I was reminded of my old vocation yesterday. The president of Jacksonville’s City Council has made quite a splash, demanding that Janine Eight Months Pregnant by artist Angela Strassheim be removed from an exhibit at the Jacksonville Museum of Contemporary Art. He calls the piece “pornography”, unfit for the eyes of children and reminds the museum (like an angry parent withholding college spending money) that their funding could be compromised if they do not do as they are told.


And another pornographic image from my collection – Girl by Nalbi

I do not mean to mislead you. This is a sobriety blog. I’m sure Council President Yarborough would denigrate my lifestyle – pass off my criticism of his censorship as the ravings of a charlatan, alcoholic. After all, I have always hung controversial nudes in my home, even when my children were small…

But this is so important to Jacksonville’s art community and he is so ignorant, I feel the need to speak.

I can’t for the life of me figure out exactly what offends Mr. Yarborough about the image (a pregnant, reclining nude). It is neither here nor there I suppose. I think I am most appalled by the grandness of his demands. And the fact that we are all caught up in his personal foibles.

But that is what happens with censorship.


Today I’m not drinking because I want a clear head – although this topic drives me to drink..

How come you’re not drinking?