Artist Forced To Remove Paintings From Exhibition Due To Inappropriate Imagery
Artist Elena Karavodin has had a great deal of her exhibition at Encinitas’ Community & Senior Center removed by the city.
Karadovin uses her ‘art as a tool for social speculation, inquiry, and the evocation of raw emotions’. However, city officials felt that this inspection of social issues was too graphic for public display.
The artist said she was shocked when she was asked to remove nine paintings and then an additional two. Some pieces would have been allowed to remain if their title was changed, but Karadovin refused to do this. One of the pieces was removed because it had the word ‘dummy’ in it.
Public Information Officer Julie Tabor explained to The San Diego Union-Tribune why the images were removed:
When we looked at the pieces, we determined that because it was a public facility that was going to host summer camps for children, some of the pieces were just not appropriate for that type of atmosphere.
Despite this claim, the installation had been approved by the city in 2019. Nonetheless, this process only requires artists to submit a selection of works. Karavodin also noted that oversight was reduced because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Discussing the matter, the artist stated that those helping with the installation largely enjoyed the pieces.
Danny Salzhandler, the longtime coordinator of the Arts Alive banner program for the 101 Artist Colony in Encinitas, claims he can see both sides argument ‘I can see both sides of it … it’s a community gallery, it’s tough to do art in a facility that’s run by tax dollars.’
Salzhandler went on to note that images like Remains of the Day, which features several dead bodies in a pool of blood, was probably not appropriate for kids, although he highlighted the important social messages that the work had.
Karavodin has said there will be no legal case and has set up an exhibition of censored images in a new gallery alongside the remaining pieces that are in the community center.
Karavodin’s Now or Never exhibit will be on display at the city’s community center through August 4. Additionally, her exhibit of censored pieces, NEVER: An Uncensored Solo Show, will be shown at the ArtHatch gallery on Escondido’s Grand Avenue until August 5.
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CreditsThe San Diego Union-Tribune
The San Diego Union-Tribune