Censorship of David Wojnarowicz, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Francisco Goya

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The Censorship of David Wojnarowicz, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Francisco Goya Censorship is usually considered “official” censorship because it is action taken by governmental institutions such as government committees, or universities, to limit the view of a specific artwork or a group of works by the public. However, these concrete official actions taken to limit public view of specific artwork are only the results of the abstract “censoring attitudes” of individuals or groups of individuals, encouraging the actions. Censoring attitudes can arise from feelings of race or gender discrimination, discrimination against the gay community, fear of taboos and controversially issues, and assumed moral or Christian authority. It is …show more content…
However, this is how it would be in an ideal society. In reality, censorship is common. By examining the life works and experiences of three artists, David Wojnarowicz, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Francisco Goya, the use of censorship and its affects can be understood.

Although modern examples of censorship concerning cultural taboos are almost understandable because of the controversial subject matter, the censorship of art was just as prevalent in the 1700’s in Spain. Censoring was based on protecting public morals, and it took political action in the form of Spain’s Holy Inquisition. Just as the NEA is pressured to works by threat of pulling funding, so was Franciso Goya pressured to self-censor his artwork for fear of losing his job as a court painter. The Inquisition began with censorship of public visual arts anonymously produced, but as Spain experienced the struggle between the church and the Bourbon monarchy it limited all works considered too sexual or anti-Christian. Goya’s painting of “Naked Maja” was his way to “defy the traditional association of the female nude with evil” just as modern day artists, Mapplethorpe and Wojnarowicz fight against society’s taboos with their controversial artworks (132). By self-censoring his artwork he painted the same female but clothed the naked female for the public to see, so his patron, Godoy, could lift the “Clothed Maja” to see the

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