Say a deranged woman attacked the Mona Lisa as it hung in the Louvre last week. It would be big news worldwide, including in the U.S.. Your favorite TV station would of course show the painting and discuss its historical and economic value.
Now what if instead of the Louvre it was America’s National Gallery in Washington, and instead of DaVinci’s Mona Lisa it was Gaugin’s Two Tahitian Women. Same deal, right? Some perky anchorwoman would read the teleprompter: “…masterpiece done for the upcoming Exposition Universelle of 1900, similar to Gaugin’s famous works now hanging in London’s Tate and Moscow’s Pushkin. It’s worth eighty million dollars, John, not exactly a picture of dogs sitting around playing poker, huh?”
That would be the grownup way, but this is America—and if a painting involves Tahitian Women, the fear of sex can’t be far behind. So depending on what station you watch, you saw half the painting (duh, the upper half); all of the painting, but with a banner “Gaugin Painting Attacked” modestly covering the models’ breasts; and on fair-and-balanced Fox stations, the entire painting with the nipples blurred out. And yes, some stations showed the masterpiece as it is. Read More >>