Someone isn't playing nice at PS 42 on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and it's not the kids. It seems that parents are royally peeved after the Dino Eli Gallery across the street from the elementary school put up nude photos of a woman as part of an art installation right smack in the front window that faces the school.
It lines up like this: Parents think it's obscene, Dino Eli (the gallery owner) thinks it's art. The two sides are at an impasse, as Eli says they just can't see eye to eye.
As someone who holds an art history degree and drives by XXX billboards while taking my kids to school in Hollywood, I've got a dog in this race. Eli, you're behaving worse than a second grader here, and you need to get off your pompous art horse.
Of course the photographs are art and are not offensive to the general public. Naturally, an art gallery will be displaying art. I don't even fault Eli for putting in the installation in his window facing the grade school. But what the owner should have done after receiving the complaint was to be considerate to his neighbors.
You can move things around in a gallery; in fact, installations by their very nature are movable. Instead of arguing with a school about what is obscene and what is art, why not consider that parents of tiny children may want to shield them for a little while longer. What's the big deal? You've got more art in that gallery, right?
I know the Lower East Side of Manhattan isn't exactly kid-friendly territory, but children and adults have been co-existing in all Manhattan neighborhoods for, like, ever. It's only recently that anyone who dares to ask consideration for the children gets labelled an entitled breeder.
None of us in urban areas can control the environment, nor would we want to. After all, vibrant city life is what attracts many of us to these areas in the first place. But asking to adjust some pictures that contain adult content away from the front door of an elementary school isn't the same thing as starting a campaign to close all of the strip clubs in your area in case your children may catch a glimpse.
Be a good neighbor, Eli, and move the boobs.
Do you think the gallery owner or the parents are in the right here?
Image via John Loney/Flickr