Brooklyn College MFA show shut down by Parks Dept.

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Brooklyn College MFA Plan B

I received an e-mail from Christopher Moss, one of the artists in Plan B, the MFA thesis exhibit for the art school of Brooklyn College. He pointed be to a blog that has been set up for more information. His e-mail stated:

On Thursday May 4th MFA students at Brooklyn College were surprised to find their exhibition shut down the day after a successful and well attended opening. MFA Students were monitoring the exhibition at the Brooklyn War Memorial when around 3:00 p.m. a locksmith arrived to change the locks, later a building supervisor insisted the students leave immediately. Later gallery director Maria Rand contacted Julius Spiegel, Borough Parks Commissioner, who said he had received complaints about 2 or 3 of the works' content. The show was scheduled to run through May 25th.

I was gallery sitting at the time.

Apparently at the moment the artists don't even have access to their work. It's locked up by the Parks Department.

It sounds like this is coming from the Parks Department, and the Borough authorities, not the school. Someone should explain to them that locking up art shows without warning isn't much of a tribute to Brooklyn or New York City.

As I was looking at the Plan B site, I see that our friend Carl Ferrero is one of the artists. Perhaps this image by him was deemed worthy of shutting down a show:


Carl Ferrero, Pray For Your Pleasure (excerpt), 2005-2006, watercolor on paper, 30"×22"

We all know how well the authorities in NYC react to words like "pray" anywhere near naked bodies or sexuality.

I note the Brooklyn College Art Department's home page tells us this about its history:

Founded by artists escaping German fascism on the eve of World War II, the art department started as the world's first comprehensive Bauhaus art program in a liberal arts setting. Over the years it grew to include Abstract Expressionists, Realists, and Abstractionists drawn from the New York art world, as well as art historians with distinguished scholarly reputations.

Shutting down MFA exhibits doesn't sound like a very good way to honor that history.

Updated: As a commenter pointed out, the Carl Ferrero image is not the one in the show. See this post by James for what we believe are the ones in the show.

1 Comment

I'm commenting as a Plan B artist-
Thanks Barry for alerting your readers to our situation!
I wanted to clarify one point- Carl Ferrero did not include the above image in the gallery show. The work that he has displayed at the War Memorial is not graphic, in fact, the only sexual content is actually written in text on the watercolors. The images themselves are of nude male torsos.
Zoe Cohen.

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