Does This Photo Offend You?
The photographer, Kimberley Hannaman Taylor, says that, after hanging her 24 postcard-sized photographs at Every Woman, she received a call from South End Arts & Business Association. She was told that Toby Richman, Every Woman's owner, had objected to this photo and two similar images. While the exhibit's content is, overall, pretty benign — landscapes, a ferry, fruits, vegetables — the baby-doll pix were such an affront to Richman that she demanded that Taylor remove the whole shebang before the patrons start arriving this evening.
"The photos do not depict nudity, they're not political, they're not violent," Taylor said. "They're photographs of an inanimate object lying in the snow."
Taylor had the mobile-style exhibit removed by noon Friday, but the photos will still be on view — on the photographer herself. Taylor plans to sew the pictures onto her clothing and, by Saturday morning, "be a walking gallery." She'll also be giving away 50 "wearable banners" of the offending images.
"I hope they'll be worn all over Art Hop and start a dialogue about this," she said.
No one answered the phone at Every Woman P.T., and when I went by the studio, Richman was with a client.
Bob Bolyard, Art Hop coordinator, said he offered to let Taylor hang her work in SEABA's gallery at 180 Flynn Ave. Although he wouldn't comment on Richman's specific objections to the baby-doll shots, putting the 'B' in SEABA, he said Art Hop has had to "shuffle" exhibits around in the past to accommodate the tastes of the business owners who help host the annual event. "We back our sites," he said.
For her part, Taylor doesn't hold it against Richman for failing to appreciate her work. Her gripe is with SEABA's willingness to allow businesses to exercise editorial control over Art Hop content.
"The business is in the program,the business gets the press, and traffic is being funneled to their site," she noted. "And now my name is in the program, and there is a blank gallery space there, which doesn't sit well with me, not for how it impacts me and my career and how it makes me look, but philosophically.
"Who has the creative license in these situations?"