Last weekend when a 4chan user leaked a cache of celebrity nude photos, including those of Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton, internet users responded in a variety of ways.
Some chose to respect the women’s privacy and just didn’t click. Others began a strange movement to compensate for “fappening” by donating to cancer research. Another reaction that has come up that’s quite unusualy is from a Los Angeles-based artist named XVALA, who is, you guessed it, appropriating these images as art.The artist plans on displaying them on canvas, life-size and unaltered.
XVALA will showcase the images as part of his “long-awaited,” according to the press release, “No Delete” exhibition. It will run at Florida’s Cory Allen Contemporary Art, which dubs itself “the world’s first PR gallery” and refers to itself with the hashtag #CACA.
The rest of the show features more of the same — years of celebrities’ most intimate and comprising photos, accessed by paparazzi or hackers. His most famed work is a framed image of Britney Spears from the shaved head-era. Essentially, if you love tabloid trash but want to get pretentious about it, this is the show for you.
“We share our secrets with technology,” XVALA said in a statement. “And when we do, our privacy becomes accessible to others.” Thank you, XVALA, for that in-depth analysis, so thoughtfully illustrated via hacked images of breasts.
XVALA’s work also falls into the misguided ritual of shock art, which mistakenly assumes negative attention results from a conservative viewership, rather than a critical or bored one. Truly transgressive artists take risks in their work, putting their own reputation and even safety on the line. They don’t shove someone else’s body into the spotlight and take all the credit.