Pilsen gallery in nude photo flap

-Margaret Ramirez
October 16, 2008

Iranian-American photographer Amir Normandi’s “True You” showes a nude woman
holding a mirror and paint roller in front of her face. The eyes of a veiled
woman
appear in the mirror. (Amir Normandi) 
 

An artist who says his controversial work protests the forced veiling of
Muslim women found that one image got a veil of its own after complaints by
residents near the Pilsen
 art gallery displaying the nude photograph.

The controversy sparked Saturday as the Pilsen Together Chamber of Commerce
prepared for an exhibit showcasing work of local artists, including
Iranian-American photographer Amir Normandi. Placed in a window of the
gallery the chamber owns at 18th Street and Ashland Avenue was a photo by
Normandi titled, “True You,” showing a nude woman holding a mirror and paint
roller in front of her face. The eyes of a veiled woman appear in the
mirror.

“The interpretation is that the nude female is imprisoning the person who is
covered up or the other way around,” said Normandi, 60, a Muslim. But by
Monday night, several neighbors had complained and even threatened violence,
according to the chamber. To calm the protesters, the organization placed a
covering on the window to hide the woman’s breasts. Normandi objected and
removed his work from the show but later agreed to return the photo for
display in a less visible area.

Sherry Rontos, the chamber’s president, said the organization will hold a
news conference Thursday to explain they removed the photo due to the
violent threats. They also hope to draw attention to other issues in the
exhibit including Immigration

 

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