Museums launch OnlyFans account to display ‘explicit’ artworks

Museums in Vienna have set up an OnlyFans account in protest against art censorship by other social media platforms.

OnlyFans is the only network that permits the depiction of nudity, while other platforms such as Facebook and Instagram censor art that shows the naked body.

In July, the Albertina Museum’s TikTok account was suspended and then blocked for showing works by the Japanese photographer Nobuyoshi Araki that portrayed a female breast, the Guardian reports.

This followed a similar incident from 2019 when Instagram ruled that a painting by Peter Paul Rubens violated the platform’s nudity rules.

Earlier this year, a short video featuring the painting Liebespaar by Koloman Moser, made to mark the Leopold Museum’s 20th anniversary, was rejected by Facebook and Instagram as "potentially pornographic".

These works, however, along with many more, are now on full display on Vienna’s OnlyFans profile and only teased on other social media platforms.

The first subscribers to "Vienna’s 18+ content" will also receive either a Vienna City Card or an admission ticket to see one of the artworks in person.

Vienna tourist board spokesperson, Helena Hartlauer, said the city and its cultural institutions had been finding it "almost impossible" to use nude artworks in promotional materials.

She said: "Of course you can work without that, but these artworks are crucial and important to Vienna.

"If they cannot be used on a communications tool as strong as social media, it’s unfair and frustrating. That’s why we thought (of OnlyFans) – finally, a way to show these things."

Hartlauer however emphasises that the "Vienna strips on OnlyFans" campaign was not just to encourage tourists – as part of Austria’s reopening following the pandemic – but it was also to raise awareness of the censorship that contemporary artists are facing.

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She added: "We just want to question, do we need these limitations? Who decides what to censor? Instagram censors images and sometimes you don’t even know about it – it’s very untransparent.

"This marketing initiative of ours is not the ultimate solution for this problematic relationship between the art world and social media, but we want to stand up for our values and our beliefs. Vienna has always been famous for being open-minded."

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