When the photos of 100 celebrity women were stolen and then leaked by a hacker last weekend, the controversy spawned a debate about the invasion of privacy and sharing information online. Many people, most notably Lena Dunham, asked the public not to look at the nude photos because they violate their subjects' privacy. One artist, however, hopes to capitalize on this breech of security.
Los Angeles-based artist XVALA plans to exhibit the leaked nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton in an art show called "No Delete." The show will take place on Oct. 30 at Corey Allen Contemporary Art in St. Petersburg, Fla. “We share our secrets with technology,” XVALA says in the exhibit's press release. “And when we do, our privacy becomes accessible to others.” Even though "No Delete" is supposedly about "privacy in the digital era," it looks a whole lot more like a ploy to get a bunch of creepy dudes to stop by your gallery.
XVALA's new exhibition is part of his "Fear Google" campaign (although "Fear the iCloud" would be more appropriate here), which previously involved pasting leaked nude images of Scarlett Johansson, which were censored by the artist's logo, on the streets of L.A. For the same project, XVALA framed a picture of Britney Spears with her head shaved in gold, presenting the portrait like religious iconography. "Fear Google" also includes a sculpture series made from celebrities' trash scoured from the garbage bins of Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Kim Kardashian, and others. In the context of this celebrity-crazed project, it becomes less and less believable that printing out nude photos of Lawrence and Upton and hanging them on a wall in Florida is art.
UPDATE SEPT. 9 12:55 P.M. ET: After public backlash and a Change.org petition against XVALA's decision to display leaked nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton, the artist has altered his upcoming exhibition at Corey Allen Contemporary Art. Instead, he will display his own full-length nude selfies.
“It wasn’t just about being ‘hacked’ images anymore, but now presented in the media as stolen property,” said XVALA in the new press release. “People were identifying with Jennifer Lawrence’s and Kate Upton’s victimization, much more than I had anticipated, which is powerfully persuasive.”
We're glad that the artist is no longer capitalizing on stolen photos that invade people's privacy, but we're pretty sure no one's going to show up just to see a bunch of photos of some naked dude.