Summary: Although art may sometimes shock us, so do many recent attempts to regulate it. Increasingly contemporary art displays new values and beliefs that may disturb or even frighten viewers.
In Chicago, a painting of the late Mayor Harold Washington in women's underwear was seized by outraged politicians and the police. The National Endowment for the Arts rescinded funds it had pledged to a New York City exhibit confronting the devastation of the AIDS epidemic. The Cor ...show morecoran Gallery balked at mounting a retrospective of Robert Mapplethorpe's photographs, some of which depicted homoerotic scenes or nude children. In Florida, a music store owner and 2 Live Crew were prosecuted for the alleged obscenity of a record album.
Drawing upon extensive interviews, a broad sampling of media accounts, legal documents and his own observations of important events, Steven Dubin surveys visual art, photography and film, as well as artistic upstarts such as video and performance art. He examines both the nature of art work which disarms its viewers and the social reaction to it--the dual meaning of arresting images. Dubin combines the eye of someone familiar with art and the rigor of a social scientist with insights about contemporary society and politics. ...show less