Museums in Vienna have opened the first-ever OnlyFans accounts for galleries so that they can post nude artworks after their social media accounts were banned back in the summer.
The new “Vienna Laid Bare” initiative was launched by the Vienna Tourism Board last week, and that launch included an official OnlyFans account. Subscribers can currently receive a complimentary Vienna City Card, or a ticket for one of the museums featured on the account.
Vienna Tourism Board spokeswoman Helena Hartlauer told Motherboard that the OnlyFans account was launched after the city had their museum social media accounts suspended for uploading nude artworks. The official TikTok account for Vienna’s Albertina Museum was suspended back in July for posting photographs from Japanese artist Nobuyoshi Araki, which depicted obscured breasts.
The Vienna Tourism Board noted in a press release that they launched the OnlyFans account after being among the latest casualties of a “new wave of prudishness” on social media.
Vienna and its art institutions are among the casualties of this new wave of prudishness – with nude statues and famous artworks blacklisted under social media guidelines, and repeat offenders even finding their accounts temporarily suspended. That’s why we decided to put the capital’s world-famous ‘explicit’ artworks on OnlyFans. Major social media channels like Instagram and Facebook have nudity and ‘lewd’ content firmly in their sights.
The tourism board will feature several artists on the OnlyFans account, including Koloman Moser, a 20th century graphic artist, and Egon Schiele, an Austrian Expressionist painter. The following YouTube video was also released, teasing the so-called “x-rated artworks” and showing a suggestive image of a statue with text that asks, “Want to see Venus – and her mound of Venus?”
This is not the first time the world of fine art has had to deal with increasingly strict rules on depictions of nudity on social media platforms. The Flemish Tourism Board mocked Facebook for continually censoring nude paintings by Peter Paul Rubens back in 2018, and that same year a French court ruled that Facebook was wrong to censor the “Origin of the World” piece by Gustave Courtbet.
There’s a sense of shock in the fine art world over how artworks that pushed boundaries more than 100 years ago are now being censored on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. Hartlauer said there is a clear problem with the artworks being censored.
Part of what makes this problematic is that there are no clear guidelines on these platforms, nor rhyme or reason, in regards to what nudity is considered ‘offensive’ and what nudity is not. We’ve had 3,000-year-old works of art be censored. Clearly there is something wrong here.
You can find full details on the new “Vienna Laid Bare” OnlyFans account via the Vienna Tourism Board page. The account covers four featured museums – Albertina, Leopold, Art History, Natural History.
What do you think of social media giants censoring pieces of fine art? Should they be free to do what they want, or should they face some regulations?
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