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Racy Art Gallery The Talk Of Lower East Side Neighborhood

It Appears Not Many Appreciate Allegra Laviola's Tastes
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Allegra Laviola gallery

Allegra Laviola gallery. (Photo: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Manhattan art gallery with a view is giving passersby quite an eyeful — and not everyone’s happy about it.

A religious group wants the show covered up. CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis examines whether the gallery is art or peep show.

It’s the face of sexual pleasure and pain — ecstasy in living color.

And it’s all just a window away from a busy sidewalk full of schoolchildren on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

“It’s very inappropriate for children to have to view that. That’s inappropriate,” Kelly Guilford of the South Bronx told CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis.

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“If anything, they should put blinds or something to keep it covered, so the kids don’t look in,” resident Tzvi Sitzer said.

The Allegra Laviola gallery is showing off what some say shouldn’t be for show.

It’s girls gone bad and guys enjoying an eyeful.

The owner is now getting an earful from Orthodox Jewish neighbors, concerned about an all-boys yeshiva on the same street.

“This is not porn. I’ve seen porn. This is just drawings,” gallery owner Allegra Laviola said.

Laviola said she’s been screamed at and even had the police called to her gallery, twice.

“The cops were very nice. I think they found it somewhat laughable,” Laviola said.

No laws were broken. There was just a concern that the gallery should cover itself up, and so should “Eve.”

The compromise that was worked out included signs posted, saying “this exhibition is not suitable for children.”

But the windows stay open.

“I just don’t feel that it’s my responsibility to answer to them,” Laviola said.

Timing, as they say, is everything. This show opened five weeks ago, and it will end in just days to make room for another exhibit that the owner promises will be much less controversial. Until then, Laviola said she has a message for anyone with a complaint.

“Keep on walkin’,” she said.

That came as little comfort to offended parents, but for a few remaining days the adults-only show goes on.

The show – “Pornucopia” — will end this weekend.

Offended by this? Think it’s much ado about nothing? Offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

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