Bea Arthur: Nude Painting Banned From Facebook

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Bea Arthur rose to fame as a strong, take-no-crap woman on sitcoms like “Maude” and “The Golden Girls”, and though her deep voice and severe, no-nonsense haircut were usually regarded as masculine traits, some men found her attitude sexy. One man in particular found it sexy enough to want to paint her in the buff, and he did.

Artist John Currin painted the Golden Girl in a nude pose in 1991, although he stressed that he worked from a clothed photo of the actress. The painting has now gone for $1.9 million at auction, but Facebook apparently doesn’t want the photo posted on their site. According to The Daily Beast, they weren’t allowed to upload it due to the exposed breasts in the painting, although Facebook has said before that art doesn’t apply to that rule.

Facebook has caught some backlash before due to their strict “no breast” policy after taking down photos of mothers breastfeeding and showing off pregnant body art. Site reps eventually apologized to The Daily Beast, saying, “Our policy prohibits photos of actual nude people, not paintings or sculptures. Unfortunately, this image was erroneously removed under the same clause we use to prevent more graphic images from propagating on the site.”

Christie’s Auction House sold the piece to an anonymous bidder, but the price was expected to go much higher than it did. When Currin’s show opened in the early ’90s it was lambasted by art critics, one of whom said that the pieces were “acrid fantasy portraits of menopausal women — images suspended, in his words, ‘between the object of desire and the object of loathing.'”

Arthur was aware of the painting before her death in 2009 and said that perhaps Currin was simply drawn to strong women.

“Maybe [Currin] was attracted to the feminist movement of the 1970s. Because of ‘Maude,’ I was the Joan of Arc of feminism. He certainly couldn’t have done anything with Marlo Thomas of ‘That Girl.'”

Check out the painting below, courtesy of Christie’s. Could be NSFW depending on your view of nude art.


Bea Arthur: Nude Painting Banned From Facebook
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  • Loki

    With New York and California among states that protect topfree equality, some of which have criminal or civil penalties for obstructing a right to openly breast feed as well, it’s a reasonable position that Facebook is promoting legal rights violations, and child abuse.

    Kids need basic life skills to witness lawful public actions of others in stride, even if some parents are emotionally stunted bigots. It’s absurd to think that speech reflecting legally protected choices for all ages, on the street outside Facebook’s own offices, or inside them, justifies censorship by a public forum larger than most of the world’s largest cities combined.

    • http://covent-garden.co.uk Jackie Mackay

      You said
      “reasonable position that Facebook is promoting legal rights violations, and child abuse.”

      Can’t agree with that man (or woman but who cares nowadays?) I shall not go along with promoting child abuse as many others in high positions do.

      Jackie Mackay

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