I published an article yesterday on Matador Life about The Most Obscene Debate On the Internet. While that article sparked massive debate about the nature of privacy, cultural relativism and whether personal modesty and sexual repression are distinct entities or undeniably tied together, there was at least one very important topic I didn't cover.
I met artist Kate Hansen through the Facebook while researching an article discussing Facebook and the banning of breastfeeding photos. One series of her paintings titled Madonna and Child Project depicts very intimate moments between mother and child.
That those moments often include paintings of mothers breastfeeding lead to the removal of those paintings from Facebook under the heading of obscene, possibly pornographic.
Kate wrote the following letter to Facebook in response to the deletion of her artwork.
I have to protest the deletion of my work from a group of artwork dedicated to the human figure. If you have a look at the group, you might note that many artworks there are full nudes, far more explicit than anything I posted.
I happen to think your reasons for deletion are less about nudity and more about an unfair policy against the breastfeeding subject matter of my work. I think you need to rethink your policy as it is a very blatant discrimination against the female perspective on the figure. You also need to consider the differences between art and pornography.
You tread thin ground.
Kate allowed me to post her paintings here.
Do you find them to be obscene? Should they be removed from Facebook under what Facebook terms "hateful, threatening, pornographic, or that contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence." Or is or these paintings examples of legitimate artwork that should have it's place with other works of fine art?