Racy Art Gallery The Talk Of Lower East Side Neighborhood

It Appears Not Many Appreciate Allegra Laviola's Tastes

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.

  • Lancelot Link

    In our garbage culture, if it’s not offending someone it’s not “art”. I took a look at the website too. Its juvenile, self-indulgent junk. I’ve seen more imaginative work scrawled on the back of high school notebooks from bored chemistry students. Get over yourselves. You untalented, misguided fools.

  • Bottomless Cyclist

    I think we should all (clothing-optional) bike around this neighborhood. All day.

  • Rodin

    Just took a quick look at Allegra LaViola Gallery’s “Pornucopia” exhibit online.

    All histrionics aside, with the exception of some very nice collages by one Duncan Hannah, the stuff shown is pretty awful. Anyone offended by THAT?

    “It is one thing to die individually or to be wiped out en masse. It is another an far more grievous thing entirely to be forced to live in a time of SQUALID ART.” – J. D. Landis in ‘Longing’

  • Rodin

    Aren’t these the same folk that don’t want bicycle lanes in their ‘hood cuz cyclists are leud and offensive?

    Next time you hear ‘SHARIA’, think of THEM!

    “Nail up some indecency in plain sight over your door; from that time forward you will be rid of all respectable people,the most insupportable folk God has created.” – Paul Gauguin (1848 – 1903)

  • Dr. John

    Mortal life is a banquet spread with awe-some and mysterious varieties of expression, and you guys are starving. The Creator manifests in a myriad of forms, His Wonder to display. Who is He Who lives in so many ways ?

  • LES Moral Patrol

    The morality of the community would greatly improve if all the orthodox jews left and more artists, writers and dynamic families moved in.

  • LES Tznius Patrol

    As everyone in the Lower East Side knows this is unfortuneltly Sheldon Silver fault and so are many other things in the community have fell apart such as the morality in the community because of him and what he votes for. If sheldon silver cares about this neighborhood, he would have prevented this gallery from coming into the lower east side. He brought the gay community into the lower east side and he allowed this gallery to come in as well. As you all can see, he does not stand for morality. He only helps out his cronies and their kids and giving great jobs to kids such as a 19 year old single college student who is the son of his chief of staff while leaving others in the community with families who lost their jobs unemployed.

  • LES Tznius Patrol

    I agree with you Tzvi Sitzer and so do many of us in the LES Orthodox Jewish Community. Tzvi, you should be the spokesman of the LES as we think you are the best. Shelly Silver please save the morality of the community before it gets out of hand which it is starting to do.

    • Richard T.

      If you want to start creating your own ghettoes like the ones that were in Europe, please GO BACK THERE.

      • Rodin

        Watch it Richard T. –

        A similar statement cost Helen Thomas her long time job as White House Correspondent.

        You’re dealing with untouchables here.

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