Facebook Bans Painting By Leading Australian Artist Charles Blackman For Indecency

Should Facebook have the right to ban fine art?

Facebook is at it again! The taste and moral police have blocked an Australian auction house from advertising a well-known figurative painter’s work because it deems it indecent. Charles Blackman’s oil work entitled Women Lovers features two nude women resting on a bed beside a cat. The painting has been pulled down by the social media giant in a gesture which undermines culture in a return to Victorian attitudes of morality and repression. Mr. Blackman is a contemporary of the modernist painters Arthur Boyd, Sidney Nolan and Albert Tucker. 

“A representative from Facebook said the decision was final”

The work from the Lowenstein Collection was promoted by Auction room, Mossgreen in Melbourne attempted to promote the work of art on Facebook, but it was rejected and accused the highly respected company of “advertising adult products or services”. Mossgreen’s chief executive Paul Summer said the decision was “ridiculous”. “This is a very beautiful image that is not overtly sexual in any shape or form”. “It’s like going back to the 1950s. It’s ridiculous to censor this sort of thing.”

A representative from Facebook said the decision was final, although Mossgreen has since reposted images of the work.”Such ads lead to negative user sentiment and we have zero tolerance towards such advertisements,” Facebook said in a message. Women Lovers was expected to sell for more than A$45,000 (£28,000; $34,000) at auction next week. Blackman’s painting The Game of Chess was sold by Sotheby’s Australia for A$1.78m.

“Charles Blackman is the most well-regarded and respected living Australian artist,” Mr. Summer said.”Nobody said a single thing until Facebook suddenly decided it was going to offend somebody,” Mr. Summer lamented. “I don’t know who they’re protecting because I have two teenage daughters myself and if I said to them that this painting has been banned I think they would have laughed at me.”
This case is part of a growing list of strikes against Facebook’s no nudity policy which has been implemented to court business in the middle-east and other countries with repressive governments. A French teacher recently took Facebook to court after it suspended his account for posting an image painted by 19th Century artist Gustave Courbet. A Danish MP also had her account suspended for posting a photo of The statue of the Little Mermaid Denmark’s national symbol…What next The statue of David in Florence?


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