"> Name: "Nacken"

Date:  1985 - 1995

Location:  North America

SubjectExplicit Sexuality


Artist: Alv Wilenius

Confronting Bodies: Local citizen, sheriff's office

Date of Action: 1995

Specific Location: Quicksliver Mine Co., Guerneville, California

Description of Artwork: The painting depicts a nude image of Naken, a male Scandinavian god, pulling a nude male victim under water. Nacken's hands and head are in proximity to the victim's penis.

Description of Incident: A local hair dresser complained to the gallery owners that the painting was obscene and would be offensive to tourists and harmful to children. The gallery owners took no action. Then the hair dresser complained to the police who contacted the gallery owners and informed then that they might be in violation of local obscenity laws.

Results of Incident: The gallery owners covered the "offensive" portion of the painting until they contacted the Assistant District Attorney regarding the issue of the paintings obscenity. The ADA told them the painting was not obscene because it had serious artistic and literary value. The owners then kept the painting in the window uncovered.

Source: NCAC: based on a report in "Artistic Freedom Under Attack" Vol. 3 1995, provided by People for the American Way

Submitted By: Peter Silverman

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