The photo hack known as “The Fappening” leaked stolen nude images of over 100 celebrities to the wilds of the Internet, and more names are being added to the victim list daily. Many have spoken out against viewing the photos, arguing that they wrongfully invade the subjects’ privacy. And while it’s impossible to stop people from clicking through the naked selfies, at least one project is offering a much less harmful alternative to looking at these photos.
“The UNFappening” is a website that asks artists to cover up the nude photos with illustrations. Through collages, drawings, and Photoshop, the illicit images regain their modesty. The site’s description reads, “The fappening happened. We can’t change that. But we can cover it up. It’s the least we can do. Here we show the works of artists who did so.” Artists can submit their alterations to the photos through an email address on the site.
While the motive of the project may come from an honorable place (to give the victims their dignity back by turning their stolen photos into works of art) it’s unclear if the organizers have actually achieved their goal. Artists do have to look at the nude photos before submitting them. And does turning the photos into works of art make it okay to use the stolen images?
At least the project is unquestionably more tasteful than XVALA’s canceled exhibition “Fear Google,” where the artist planned to display the leaked images of Kate Upton and Jennifer Lawrence in a Florida gallery. Whereas “The UNFappening” is an attempt to cover up the leaked nudes, XVALA’s show was most likely an excuse to draw crowds. Due to public backlash, however, the artist decided to show his own nude selfies instead. Good luck getting people to show up.