Blog / 2019 / What I Have In Common with the People Who Hate My Art

April 2, 2019

This is not the first time that a public library has refused to show my art, but, unlike with the libraries in my county, at least Montclair’s library had the courtesy to communicate directly about its motives. I may disagree with the decision, but I appreciate the way the situation was handled.

Whether you agree with the library or not, I hope you’ll come by the reception this weekend to see all the amazing art that’s still part of Love and Fear!

Opening Reception: Sunday, April 7th from 3 to 5:45 PM
Panel Discussion: Sunday, April 7th from 4 to 5 PM

Open: through April 29th
Hours: Monday through Thursday 10 AM to 8 PM, Friday and Saturday 10 AM to 6 PM, Sunday 1 to 6 PM

Montclair Public Library Gallery
50 South Fullerton Avenue
Montclair, NJ 07042
973-744-0500

Donald Trump holding a syringe full of bull crap and surrounded by the destruction of his Presidency
Gwenn Seemel
Hello Sh*tty, Available in a White House Near You! (Grab Him by His Pussy.)
2017
acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches

If you’re curious about all the little details in this painting, you can watch this video. It shows the making of the piece and describes some of the symbolism.

Hello Sh*tty is available for $2500 plus shipping—see all currently available artworks—and there are prints and t-shirts of this piece in my Redbubble shop.

UPDATE

April 13, 2019

After this story was featured on various media outlets (including Newsweek) the painting has been reinstalled!

Library director Peter Coyl asked me to amend this blog post to explain the library’s position. I told him I would prefer to present the clarification in his words. This is the statement he provided:

During theinstallation of the “Love and Fear” exhibition, Studio Montclair removed a piece of art by Gwenn Seemel to be in compliance with what they thought was library policy. This was a very unfortunate misunderstanding. Evidently in the past, previous library directors had objected to works with nudity or profanity. Studio Montclair believed they were following Library policy.

The Montclair Public Library does not have policy restricting what artwork is hung in the library. We support free speech and abhor censorship. Ms. Seemel and Studio Montclair have rehung the painting at our request and it will beon display through the end of the month with the rest of the exhibition “Love and Fear.” We hope it promotes thoughtful conversation and discourse.

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