Thursday, February 24, 2011

Should faceless social network curators censor online fine art?

It must have come as a shock to Spanish ballpoint pen and oil painter and maestro Juan Francisco Casas from Jaen, Andalusia.
A Juan Francisco Casas painting: 369 x 373 cm.

As well to the New York Academy of Art.

Big Brothers in the "cloud" appear to be dumbing down and sanitizing online art, playing gate keeper, curating and censoring what Facebook and YouTube consider morally unacceptable.

Think nudes and sexual or erotic content.

Casas, whose ballpoint-penned portraits often command low five-figure prices, woke up one morning this month to find the documentary about him on YouTube gone.

Images of nudes from the academy's website also disappeared, thanks to Facebook's morality police (think Libya, Saudi Arabia and Dubai).

Casas and the New York Academy protested.

The two social networking sites caved in and restored images and video, FB admitting it makes mistakes.

At least that's a start. But beware of fine arts' Big Brother in the cloud.

In other happenings affecting Spanish artists:

Miami's Festival of Flamenco Song, 23 - 26 Feb. Keeping the Spanish-gypsy music genre traditional is critical, according to orangizer and dancer Celia Fonta, director of the Siempre Flamenco Company.

The sixth annual festival this year opens at the Carnival Studio Theatre inside the Ziff Ballet Opera House, a more intimate venue.

Guest artists include: Paco Fonta, Jose Andres Cortes, Gabriel Pies Plomo, Macarena de Jerez and Luis Vargas, an octogenarian singer from New York.

As part of the fiesta, the National Spanish Dance Company will perform at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami.

When UK painter and illustrator John Barrett opened his "Lorca: A Dream of Life" exhibition in Competa, Spain in August 2009, Barrett staged a multi-sensory happening with his more than 150 images interpreting Federico Garcia Lorca's poems from 1919 - 1929, featuring a flemenco dancer's expression of a Lorca poem.

Here's the ArtTraveler flamenco video.

Picasso's struggling years in Paris (1900 - 1907) featured in Amsterdam. The Van Gogh Museum through 29 May shows a collection of 70 Picasso works from this period before he became a well-known avantgarde painter.

Borrowed from the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Guggenheim Museum in New York, these works represent Picasso's stuggling artist years in Paris.

Marilyn McCully curates the show. Free Sunday lectures about Picasso at the Van Gogh come as part of the package.

Spanish sculptor joins Pope to install statue at Vatican. Marco Augusto Duenas, who carved the marble statue of Saint Maron (5th C. Syrian saint), helped Pope Bennedict on 22 Feb. unveil and dedicate his work, which occupies the last vacant nave in St. Peter's.

Statue of St. Maron by Marco Auguso Duenas
Rock on and practice peace and love. 

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace." Jimmy Hendrix

Stefan, the ArtTraveler(TM).

See ArtTraveler videos on YouTube.

Follow the final days of Dutch walkers Rob and Joost as they pilgramage 1,000 kilometres from Seville to Santiago de Compostela (Via de la Plata).

Considering week-long sculpture or mosaic workshops in our Andalusian mountains or walking holidays, see: and

1 comment:

  1. Buenos dias Stefan!
    Compartiré este articulo tuyo en mi FaceBook.