Lori Haigh, San Francisco owner of the Capobianco gallery was threatened, spat upon and, most recently, punched in the face after May 16 when East Bay artist Guy Colwell made an addition of a painting of torture to his monthlong showing.
When people are punched in the face for showing a painting it is an attack on the princip of art itself. The 19th and 20th centuries saw art emerging, in Europe and then the US, as the lightning rod of creativity in total liberty. This came both as a reaction against past illiberties (commissionned art) and present economic needs of free consumerism.
What happenned in San Francisco is a sign of the times in the US. Such acts do not bode well for freedom of expression, for creativity in general. Today the victim is a gallery owner, yesterday it were hospital doctors what about tomorrow? Will scientists be attacked because of the topic of their research activities? Will everyone who accesses specific internet sites (not only pornography but also news) be suspected of god knows what?
Are we really going back to illiberties of old times?
Are we going to accept this or are we going to bow our heads down and wait for ... Just imagine for what.
Attacked for art, S.F. gallery closes