Name: WAR, an exhibition by Alex Donis

Date:  1995 - 2005

Location:  North America

SubjectPolitical/Economic/Social Opinion , Racial/Ethnic


Artist: Alex Donis (

Confronting Bodies: Los Angeles City Cultural Affairs Department (LACAD)

Date of Action: September 2001

Specific Location: Watts Towers Art Center, Los Angeles, CA

Description of Artwork: This series of paintings depicted fictionalized pairings of LAPD officers and gang members in same-sex dancing poses with companion text from renowned African-American poet and performance artist, Keith Antar Mason.

Description of Incident: The Watts Community Action Council, a locally based community group, led the charge against the exhibition. Representatives of the group threatened an angry protest during the opening reception and stated that violent actions might occur, such as angry residents attacking the artwork itself or perhaps the individuals. Th Los Angeles City Cultural Affairs Department and the Art Center administration cancelled the show.

Results of Incident: "I am outraged and equally saddened," said Alex Donis. "This exhibition is site-specific. I am not taunting or unjustly ridiculing anyone." The case received high publicity in the media and the exhibition reopened at the Frumkin/Duval Gallery in Santa Monica, CA. The artist is considering suing the LACAD.

Source: NCAC

Submitted By: NCAC

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