Bigbelly Arts Project
Artist: Dorian Katz, Justin Hall
Date of Action: August 2021
Region: North America
Location: San Francisco, CA
Subject: Sexual/Gender Orientation
Confronting Bodies: SOMA West Community Benefit District
Description of Artwork: Artists of the Leather and LGBTQ Cultural District were invited to create designs for new Bigbelly trash cans. The rejected designs included handkerchiefs, “two bearded men kissing; two burly, hairy-chested men facing each other; and three people tied in bondage gear.”
The Incident: At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, SOMA West CBD invited local artists of the leather district to submit designs for the new Bigbelly trash cans that were being installed in the San Francisco area. Some designs that were submitted were not featured as planned. Although other queer-affirming and BDSM-affirmative images were featured, artists such as Justin Hall argued that his work was censored because of the hanky code.
Results of Incident: Some of the submitted art, such as the designs by Katz and Hall, was not featured but the discrepancy was resolved and attributed to issues of miscommunication.