Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrity photos will not be appearing in an art gallery exhibit held by XLAVA, the artist has decided. XLAVA claims he decided not to use the photos of Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities as part of his “Fear Google” campaign after a public backlash to the initial announcement.
The nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton and other celebrities were originally going to be pictured in life-sized detail at the Cory Allen Contemporary Art Gallery in St. Petersburg, Florida. The artist stated that this was a change of morals. After receiving requests to cancel the art exhibit and seeing the controversy generated by the decision to use the pieces in his statement about the digital age, XLAVA will now use nude photos of himself, instead, as a visual commentary.
XLAVA claims that the decision for why the the leaked photos of Lawrence and other celebrities will not appear in the gallery was not made for legal reasons. According to the gallery owner, the issue became one about the “exploitation of women.” The public had identified with the victimization of the celebrities, which contributed to XLAVA’s change of mind about the showing of the photos. Another reason for the cancellation was due to the reporting of the hacked photos as “stolen property” in media reports.
XLAVA said that the outcry he received against his exhibit was “powerfully persuasive.” He had not expected the public to identify as much as they did with the female celebrities. Several petitions had gone up online to protest the “No Delete” exhibit after the original announcement. Gallery owner Cory Allen said “[i]t was inspiring to see people take action,” by signing a petition against the showing.
The intent of the original showing of the “No Delete” photographic exhibit was to portray the celebrities in “their most private and intimate moments” and contribute to the debate on privacy in the digital age. The up-close and personal presentation of the candid and lewd photos was to make the viewer feel like both the victim and the victimizer as they examined the hacked photos.
The release of the celebrity photos occurred about two weeks ago. A hacker obtained the celebrities’ private pictures from iCloud, then posted the pictures on the sub-forum 4Chan. The leaks resulted in controversy in the media, online, and among other celebrities concerning the moral and legal grounds for the hacking and spreading of the pictures. “This is a flagrant violation of privacy,” Lawrence’s spokeswoman has said. She also stated that authorities had been spoken to about the hack. Currently, investigations by both authorities and Apple are on-going.
The leaked photos of Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities will not appear at Cory Allen Contemporary Art due to public disagreement with the gallery’s “No Delete” exhibit. However, the exhibit will continue with the artist as the subject. According to the gallery owner and the artist, the portrayal of the women featured became a moral issue and they felt compelled to listen to the public.
By Jillian Moyet