NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Parents were fuming Friday over steamy paintings at an exhibit they said was too close to their children’s school.
Is it art, or just plain pornography? CBS 2’s John Slattery has more on the debate.
It’s no surprise that an art gallery would show nudity, but the art at Lower East Side exhibit had parents of young children complaining.
“It’s inappropriate art,” parent LaToyia Carter said.
The oil paintings on display by artist Nick Weber show fetishes and sex acts that might be too graphic even for adults.
“His message is that ‘porn is the norm,’” gallery owner Dino Eli said.
The “porn,” as Eli called it, is at his gallery on Orchard Street on the Lower East Side, right across from P.S. 42.
Carter, who has a first grader at P.S. 42, was not happy about the display.
“I’m not ready to have this conversation with my six-year-old when he’s walking to school and he sees pornographic pictures,” she said.
“I would just walk my child on the other side of the street, that’s all,” parent John Bellettiere said.
There are a dozen oils on display, some of which show sex acts that might make a sailor blush. Are they inappropriate?
“Perhaps, but I do do my best to make it not be seen by kids,” Eli said.
Eli claimed that when he’s outside, he tries to block children’s view and closes the gates for an hour when kids are leaving school.
Some parents, like Carter, weren’t buying it.
“We walked right here, and he was not here taking his precautions,” she said. “He was actually on the corner cheering.”
Eli was celebrating the controversial attention his gallery is getting.
Whether you call it art or pornography, there are a number of people saying it should not be in plain sight from the street.
The New York City Police Department said it has received no formal complaints over the display.
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