Artist Uses Leaked Nude Photos of Jennifer Lawrence & Kate Upton for Exhibit But They Need to Stop Now
I'm still trying to figure out how this is a thing that might actually happen. If we here at Bustle have said it before, then it's always worth it to say it again: Sharing the leaked nude photos of celebrities that were released without their consent en masse on Sunday is wrong in just about every way. There are no exceptions. However, this is a new twist on the story that continues to bewilder me. According to E! News, Cory Allen Contemporary Art announced that Lawrence and Upton's nudes will be added to an art exhibit by Los Angeles artist XVALA called "Fear Google." Um. What?
The images will appear unaltered on life-size canvases in Saint Petersburg, Florida at XVALA's upcoming show "No Delete", along with the artist's "seven-year collection of images found on Google of celebrities in their most vulnerable and private moments, that were comprised by either hackers or the paparazzi". This apparently includes Scarlett Johansson's leaked naked pictures as well, although she'll at least have the honor of having "the 'Fear Google' logo covering her intimate areas." According to the Cory Allen publicist, this campaign helps to open the debate about digital privacy.
That's all well and good, but there's no mention made of having Lawrence or Upton's permission to display life-size, unaltered pictures of their leaked nudes to the public. In fact, last I checked, Lawrence and Upton were bringing legal action against anyone who was sharing or redistributing the pictures. You can argue all you want that not asking their permission and invading their privacy is the whole point of the show, but the commentary doesn't seem like it'd mean much if the exhibit can't open due to being tied up in lawsuits.
In the second place, maybe it's just me, but it seems more than a little unfair that Johansson gets her private areas covered by a logo, but Upton and Lawrence — for whom this gross violation of their privacy is the most recent and freshly hurtful — get their pictures not only unaltered but blown up to a larger size. How does that make any sense? A more appropriate way to handle the exhibit would be to paint interpretations of each scandal rather than taking some of the worst moments in a celebrity's life and putting them on canvases for people to enjoy reliving for your personal profit. There's making a statement and then there's just being insensitive and this show strikes me as falling closer to the latter end of the scale.
Ultimately, with the current atmosphere of instant lawsuits that Lawrence and Upton are bringing against people who display those photos, it seems unlikely that this exhibit will go forward with those images incorporated. But it just goes to show that people will come up with all kinds of reasons to justify violating a woman's privacy and disrespecting her body by sharing her nude photos without her consent.