XVALA, a California-based artist whose real name is Jeff Hamilton, was scheduled to begin his “No Delete” exhibit in a St. Petersburg, Fla., art gallery in October. Citing public backlash, a rep for the Cory Allen Contemporary Art space confirmed to the Daily News that the artist has had a change of heart.
“The artist’s proposed exhibit ‘No Delete,’ which was to feature the recently hacked images of celebrities Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton, along with other celebrity compromised images the artist found on Google as part of his ongoing seven-year ‘Fear Google’ campaign, will no longer be the visual representation of his exhibit,” the gallery said in a release.
“The public’s response to cancel the event wasn’t just about invasion of privacy, but (was) becoming more of an issue of the exploitation of women; specifically the two celebrities.”
The artist also issued a statement, saying it was “inspiring” to see people petitioning his event.
“It wasn’t just about being ‘hacked’ images anymore, but now presented in the media as stolen property,” XVALA said, according to the release.
“People were identifying with Jennifer Lawrence’s and Kate Upton’s victimization, much more than I had anticipated, which is powerfully persuasive.”
Instead, XVALA will now feature his own “self-shot, life-size nude images” in the exhibit opening Oct. 30, the CACA gallery told The News. Despite the change, the overall concept of “self-examination” in current culture, and “crossing the lines” of individual privacy, will be maintained.
“Empathizing with these real concerns, the artist decided to turn the cameras around on him; wanting the focus to be about an individual’s privacy and not just the exploitation of women,” the gallery release continued.