Social media platforms may be working hard to combat explicit nudity online, however, it appears some museums are getting caught up in the mix in a rather unwelcome way.
For example, a few of Austria's museums found themselves banned from platforms like Instagram for "violating" nudity rules after they shared images of ancient statues and carvings, as well as important paintings and photography pieces. So, they migrated to the only platform that would welcome them — OnlyFans.
For those not in the know, OnlyFans is a platform where people can view exclusive content (which can or cannot be sexual in nature) for a small fee. Vienna's tourism board found it to be the perfect place to display their art after getting banned from other social outlets.
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"The Viennese are very open-minded," Helena Hartlauer, head of media relations at the Vienna Tourist Board, told Art News.
The tourism board made viewing the art rather affordable at just $4.99 a month. And though the art can sometimes depict nude people, officials still maintain these images are in no way "sexual in nature," Art News explained.
While this all sounds a bit cheeky, the censorship of art on social media can indeed be a big problem. As The Guardian reported, The Leopold Museum had a brief video featuring the painting Liebespaar by Koloman Moser rejected by Facebook and Instagram as "potentially pornographic." And, Art News noted, the Albertina's TikTok account was suspended after it posted art by Nobuyoshi Araki, whose photographs often feature nude women.
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"Of course you can work without that, but these artworks are crucial and important to Vienna – when you think of the self-portrait by Schiele from 1910, it's one of the most iconic artworks," Hartlauer told The Guardian. "If they cannot be used on a communications tool as strong as social media, it's unfair and frustrating. That's why we thought [of OnlyFans]: finally, a way to show these things."
Hartlauer added: "This marketing initiative of ours is not the ultimate solution for this problematic relationship between the art world and social media, but … we want to stand up for our values and our beliefs."
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