Offensive Or Art? Chelsea Billboard Features Nude Woman Floating In Water

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A billboard along the West Side Highway across from Chelsea Piers is turning a lot of heads.

The 8-foot by 10-foot panel posted on the side of a Chelsea art gallery features a nude woman partially covered in water, completely exposing her bare chest.

1010 WINS’ Al Jones finds out what New Yorkers think of the billboard

The billboard is one of four depicting the work of photographer Kenneth Willardt.

The eye-catching image has sparked a debate: is it offensive or is it art?

“I don’t find anything inappropriate about it at all, it’s a beautiful naked woman…a nice thing to walk by in the morning,” Lucas Alvarado said. “She’s not voluptuous so I feel like it’s not offensive.”

Yancey Richardson said she understands why some may be sensitive to the image and believes the work might be best displayed inside the gallery.

“Maybe it doesn’t need to face the West Side Highway and Chelsea Piers,” Richardson said.

So, what do you think? Offensive or art? Sound off in our comments section below…

  • Joel

    I jacked it to that poster.

  • mj

    omg !!! a naked body in public ….. if children see this they will be warpeed for life …. probly end up as politicins or worse yet cops … only in america is non sexual nudity regarded as obscene

  • Up the Street

    I work up the street from this and it’s been up for about a month and just now someone brought it to a reporter? Come on people there are way more worse things for your kids to see then this. It’s tasteful and a common thing everywhere else in the world… We(US) have to relax a bit. Parents have to explain to their children proper and improper nudity, like teaching them right & wrong.


    Reminds me i need to go buy some milk.

  • Maria P

    I am not offended that she is naked, only that she is annorexic. She looks like she is floating on the water after she starved herself to death!

  • Guy who once saw Lyle Alzado at Newark Airport

    After much of the hoopla, finally tried Five Guys Burger and Fries. Ordered a bacon cheeseburger with fries and drink. Came to over $14! Pretty expensive for a burger that wasn’t all that big and had dried burnt pretty tasteless bacon, seemingly unlimited but not that great french fries, and drink for a fast food establishment. And also a bit subtle, but thy put cheese on the BOTTOM and in the middle of the burger. Think most of us like it on the top.

    At Burger King, I can get 3 single stackers (with better quality bacon), small onion rings (also got onions on the Five Guys burger and is a replacement for french fries as well), and a dollar drink with free refills for $5.43 with tax.

    So who would spend $5 and who would spend $14 for the pretty much the same value? Think that’s a no brainer.

  • The Facts

    The public display of breasts is not illegal anywhere within the boundaries of New York State.

  • in reply

    Is breastfeeding offensive? When you teach children that breasts are offensive and only sexual, then you get some of these comments. The attitude that males can go topless and womens chests are to be covered up because they only suggest sex, is offensive to me as a women. If you teach children that a breast is a breast, and is larger because its anatomy is to feed babies, and not male playtoys, then it becomes no big deal.

    • confused

      since when are breasts not male playtoys?

  • lieutenantdan

    Americans are so puritanical and tight as__ed.
    We are a big joke to Europeans when it comes to this sort of stuff.
    I believe that people should be concerned about alcohol and violence but
    I do agree that this image has no place to be displayed at this location and at this size.
    Show a picture of kids having fun or a pictures of flowers.
    Typical of galleries to do something like this.

  • jennifer sheremetta

    offensive because children could see this!

    • Amy

      And God forbid THAT should happen to those pure, innocent eyeballs…

      • jennifer sheremetta

        That’s right. God forbid!. It needs to come down and put into a museum where art like that belongs! Not in public for children to see!

        • Amy

          Amazing that the children of Florence don’t all just pass out when they walk past the replica of the statue of David…

          • Amy

            With his bits ‘n pieces right at eye-level, no less!

  • Stand Up Against the Bullying Church

    If you want to see something offensive, just look at the policies of the tea-subm bagging repurnigant party.

    • bob

      you are a asswhole

  • melissa

    Americans are such prudes….there is nothing offensive about the female breast. Grow up. True, there are poses that could come across as sexual, but that certainly isn’t one.

    • artnotpron

      What is so offensive about that picture? What about the naked statues and paintings in the museums, are those offensive also?? Its sad how unrefined and brutish the typical American such as yourself is.

      • jennifer sheremetta

        a parent can control whether or not their child enters a museum with this kind of art.
        I love art..but wouldnt want kids to see this. Put it in a museum so those that want to see it can choose to do so. I wouldnt want my nieces or nephews seeing this!

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