Name: California Gallery Asked to Remove Nude Male Image

Date:  1985 - 1995

Location:  North America

SubjectExplicit Sexuality , Nudity


Artist: Alv Wilenius

Confronting Bodies: Guerneville, California police and local shopowner.

Date of Action: 1994

Specific Location: Guerneville, California.

Description of Artwork: Depiction of a male nude, water-dwelling, Scandinavian mythical spirit called Nackens reaching up from a pool seemingly pulling another nude male into the water. The spirit's hands and head were said to be in close proximity to the other man's penis.

Description of Incident: Responding to a complaint, local police asked gallery owner, Khysie Horn, to remove Wilenius' painting, citing that it violated state obscenity laws. At first Horn removed the piece, though later put it back in place with a cloth covering the questionable area.

Results of Incident: After covering the piece Horn wrote Assistant District Attorney, J. Michael Mullins, questioning the obscenity of the painting. Mullins determined that the piece was not obscene because "one of the key elements is whether or not a particular piece of material lacks 'serious literary and artitic value'." Following this announcement the cloth was removed from the piece.

Source: Artistic Freedom Under Attack, 1995

Submitted By: NCAC

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