Posts Tagged ‘Art’

Choking your reputation: How Charles Saatchi’s Neck Is On the Line

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Famous art collector, Charles Saatchi, was photographed outside a London last year choking his, now former, wife. Artist renditions of Charles Saatchi with his hand around the neck of Nigella Lawson can now be purchased on Saatchi’s website,

Pictures of the shocking event can be purchased for amounts ranging from the hundreds to the tens of thousands. Artists may upload their work to Saatchi Art and sell it to receive 70 percent of the original selling price, while the gallery receives the other 30 percent.Art gallery with different pictures

The Saatchi Art website clearly forbids uploading images that are “violent or threatening, or promotes violence.” Yet when asked why the pieces were not removed, chief curator Rebecca Wilson responded that “Saatchi Art does not believe in censorship unless the material is pornographic or incites racial hatred”, according to the Daily Mail. Saatchi seemed to be unaffected by these paintings and commented, “Would it have been a better story if I had censored artists whose work might be personally disobliging?”

Obviously, these images have begun to stir up some controversy. “Domestic violence is not a trivial matter. It is extremely insensitive to all victims of domestic violence for someone who has accepted a police caution for assaulting a partner to earn commission on images of the offence. We are shocked that anyone would want to make a profit from images of abuse,” said Polly Neate of Women’s Aid. So the question stands, is restricting the sale of such paintings considered “censorship” and a hinder to freedom of expression? Or are such works offensive, especially to victims of domestic violence and abuse? Should these works be removed?

Either way, the publicity that Saatchi has received, after seemingly choking his ex-wife, appears to be making light of a serious matter. No woman should ever be choked by her husband, and earning a profit from such an act of violence is distasteful and insensitive.  If Saatchi wishes to maintain his reputation as a renowned art collector, he should be careful in his next steps; he must try to avoid both excessive censorship and creating a reputation for himself as a misogynist, to keep an effective and profitable gallery.

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