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Secret Masterpieces: Art Censorship Essay

2312 words - 9 pages

What is the point of creating a masterpiece if it cannot be made available to the public eye? Many pieces of art are often hidden from the public eye because of art censorship. Some of these pieces could even potentially be “the work of the century,” but will unfortunately never see the light of day. Censorship is the act of suppressing any form of expression that is deemed “inappropriate” in any matter and has been a part of the art world for centuries. No matter what day and age, art will always be viewed in two ways–appreciatively and critically. Visual art should not have to be censored because it is a violation of freedom of expression, causes job loss, contains material familiar to humankind, and is a subject that deserves all opinions of the public and not just one side.
When a piece of art falls victim to censorship, whether it be by the public or government, not only is it an insult to the artist, personally, but is also a violation of both artist’s and supporter’s freedom of expression. “…fine art usually entails things that are personal to the artist. This art is meant to be viewed and feelings and opinions are meant to be culled from this” (Lenhart). Art is a way of expressing one’s innermost thoughts and emotions. With each piece, the artist puts a little bit of his or her life into the creation, however, when the public or government attempts to censor this art, it is almost as if they are really implying that the artist’s life or feelings are not good enough for display to the public. To a majority, this would come across as offensive or as a “slap to the face” situation when having any kind of thoughts or feelings suppressed simply because one group of people does not like it. In addition, artists also create pieces to spark discussions and opinions. Artists know that there will always be critics to judge and look down upon their art, but what they created their art for was to ignite discussions about social, political, and in some cases, personal issues; not for someone to have it taken down and hidden away. Although an artist may succeed in sparking opinion, what happens then leads to complaints from the public in attempts to remove the piece that was deemed controversial or offensive. “Art needs to be viewed as art and not some sort of subversive or pornographic display. The people’s first natural right plainly states that ‘Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech or the press’” (Storr). The First Amendment guarantees American citizen’s right to free speech and is not to be altered in any way, shape, or form. When talking about rights and the first amendment, some people automatically add a “but…” onto the end of their statement to make it fit their viewpoint better. The first amendment was fundamental to how American citizens defined oneself and American culture as well, and to take citizens’ right is almost like taking their individuality and forcing them to conform to whatever the “norm” may be. The...

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