‘Demonic’ or ‘inclusive’? Nude art in downtown Greenville sparks controversy


Some Greenville County residents and Greenville County Council members have described the sculptures in an international — and temporary — art installation in downtown Greenville as “demonic,” pornographic and not fit for families because the men depicted are naked.

One statue called “Hombre Universal” shows a nude man from the front, legs and arms stretched out toward two circles that surround him. That piece is displayed inside the Peace Center for the Performing Arts.

The seven others, located in Falls Park, are less focused on the body of a man and more on the meaning of the sculptures: strength, compassion, rebirth, hope and freedom.

Greenville County’s Finance Committee voted Monday to strip funding from the Hispanic Alliance of South Carolina, which sponsored the artwork in collaboration with the city of Greenville. A vote by the full County Council is expected at the next meeting, May 18.

But the city of Greenville said in a news release Tuesday night that the work by Mexican artist Jorge Marin is a hit with Greenville residents and people around the country.

Art or Pornography?

The exhibit, “Wings of the City,” opened on April 1.

Since then, some 3,600 people have done the online interactive tour, 500,000 “positive impressions and engagements” have appeared on the city’s social media accounts and 700,000 readers of Travel + Leisure magazine saw a story about Greenville and the exhibit, the city said in its news release.

“While these sculptures may differ from the public art that Greenvillians have seen on display in the past, the city is proud of its strong partnership with the Hispanic Alliance and is honored to have been chosen to host this world-renowned exhibition,” the news release said.

City Council member Russell Stall was quoted in the news release as saying the exhibition “demonstrates Greenville’s place as a world-class, progressive and inclusive city.”

County Council member Stan Tzouvelekas, however, called for the artwork to be taken down.

“I don’t think it’s family friendly. It’s demonic,” he said. ”I don’t want my kids to see it.”

Asked if he thought Greenville had gotten too hip for the room, Tzouvelekas said, “yes, too hip for Greenville County.”

Continued… Read full original article…

Source: The State

Original publication 12 May, 2021

Posted on NatCorn 21st May 2021

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