As social media networks suppress artistic expression, art museums turn to OnlyFans to display nudes, but is this just clever marketing?

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is an artist, art critic and author. His book ‘Iconoclasm, Identity Politics and the Erasure of History’ is published by Societas. Follow him on Twitter @AdamsArtist

is an artist, art critic and author. His book ‘Iconoclasm, Identity Politics and the Erasure of History’ is published by Societas. Follow him on Twitter @AdamsArtist

Leading museums in Vienna have turned to OnlyFans in a bid to circumvent social-media restrictions on institutions that exhibit nude paintings and sculpture.

The museums in Vienna feature many nudes. In particular the Leopold Museum, which houses art by Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt, has many explicit erotic nudes. Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, TikTok and other sites restrict or ban nudity. The Albertina Museum had its TikTok account suspended because of the display of a photograph by Japanese photographer Araki. Araki is known for his nude photography but the displayed photograph was apparently not explicit.

In an outreach attempt, a number of major museums use TikTok for promotion. The Metropolitan Museum in New York even partners with the China-based company. The aim is to reach younger people and children. Yet there are missteps. Crass attempts at promoting high culture through low culture have resulted in one of the world’s great museums using profanity-laden rap music. The Uffizi in Florence combined the visuals of a Botticelli painting with a rap song in a TikTok video.

A problem with all this is that it encourages those who are not used to museums to consume culture in bite sizes rather than take time to learn about context. It also misleads children into assuming museums are busy, noisy places where physical interaction is encouraged – which is the exact opposite of appropriate museum etiquette. Museums have already fallen foul of technology. Encouraging visitors to take selfies with art (to increase online exposure) eventually led to a ban on selfie sticks after a number of accidents and near misses in museums.

Members-only adult site OnlyFans features nudity, so there should be no problem with Vienna museums’ art. Yet anyone searching online can easily find the pictures, either on the museums’ websites or other sites. So, why would the Viennese museums need an OnlyFans account? There is a suspicion that this is just a move to generate publicity or to make a point with those enforcing regulations at social-media sites. It seems to have worked.

Facebook censored a post by Toerisme Vlaanderen, a Belgian regional board promoting cultural activities,. Brinkwire Summary News. For more information, search on the internet.

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