Last week I designed an ad for the upcoming group show at Arena:
Despite the bizarre resemblence to my ex's current gf, I thought it had come out nicely. Yes it has fetishy overtones, but I still felt the image (by Lochai) qualified as "fine art." It seems the staff at ARTnews did not agree. The day after I submitted the ad I was woken up by by a phone call wherein it was explained to me that their readership might be "uncomfortable" with the ad as it stood. I was dead asleep when this call came in and I am not the final decision maker about advertising the studio, so I told the chick I'd speak with my boss and call her back. Now the thing to realize is that of the images in this show that I have seen thus far, this was certainly the tamest. When designing the ad, my other option was a chick wearing a gas mask cradling a blowup doll also sporting a gas mask. Wonder what their readers would think about that one...
So I start looking at the image trying to figure out what was so offensive about it. Is it the fact that the girl looks so young? It isn't like they called and asked for the model's ID. Bare boobs? The last ad I designed for them had bare breasts. Once I was properly caffeinated, I called back. I explained the relative tameness and asked what precisely was their issue with the image. Could I kill some of the contrast? Maybe if the image wasn't so prominent, would they let me use it? The answer was no. They suggested (and as you can see below in the censored version)
that I use detail from the image rather than the whole. Are you ready for what their problem was? Her "gesture" as they delicately phrased it. I guess somehow having your hand over your crotch is the borderline between "fine art" and pornography. Someone I work with had the best innocent exclamation in response to this whole situation, she said "But you can see all of her fingers! It isn't like she's doing anything."
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: I turn 30 in less than two weeks. The time for shopping is now.