Legendary Children Exhibit
Artist: Gallery 1526
Date of Action: August 2021
Region: North America
Location: Gallery 1526 in Atlanta, Georgia
Confronting Bodies: Gallery 1526, Drag Culture
Description of Artwork: Gallery 1526's latest "Legendary Children" exhibition consists of photographs of the city's drag scene and culture. It features the works of Matthew Terrell, Jon Dean, and Blake England, among thirteen others. In one of England’s images, drag queen Violet Chacki’s penis is in plain view, while in another, her rear end is the focus, along with a gaff (a piece of underwear worn to hide a drag queen’s private parts). Jon Dean’s most provocative piece was one in which the background is an image of lips and saliva.
The Incident: Individuals who worked in the building where the gallery is expressed their discomfort at having to see these “disturbing” images everyday, and they requested the images to be removed. One of the workers, Dov Jacobson, furiously claimed that the gallery owner, Melanie Bell, was “promoting pornography with the exhibit.”
Results of Incident: To her credit, Bell refused to take down any images and found a creative solution – one that also drown attention to the problem of censorship and persisting cultural prejudice – by covering the “offensive” parts of the photos with black paper.