American Prudishness Reaches Comical New Low: FOX NY Censors Breasts of a Picasso Painting

A local Fox news station has censored the breasts on a cubist painting by Pablo Picasso, prompting bemusement and ridicule from art critics and audiences.


Reporting on the record-setting, $179m auction of Picasso’s Women of Algiers (Version O), Fox 5, the New York affiliate of Fox, blurred the breasts of three women in the painting, despite the stylized and distinctly unrealistic portrayal of those women mostly through blocky shapes.

The network did not censor a pair of buttocks.

The  New York channel falls under the Fox umbrella network, owned by the media mogul Rupert Murdoch. Observers, sometimes conflating the affiliate with the Fox News cable channel, derided the censorship of art.

— Jerry Saltz (@jerrysaltz)May 14, 2015

Sexually sick minds @FOXTV: "Jerry Saltz: Why Did Fox Blur Picasso’s Naughty Bits?http://t.co/M7Zwyk6l2upic.twitter.com/jHqau8ZTHt

New York magazine art critic Jerry Saltz tweeted: “how sexually sick are conservatives [and] Fox News?” Culture critic Aruna D’Souza sarcastically quipped: “Glad [Fox] is protecting its audience from Picasso’s smutty mind. Wouldn’t want to scare the children.” Art history blog Alberti’s Window tweeted: “Glad I didn’t pay $179 million for a Picasso painting that was ‘retouched’ by a Fox News employee.”

On Tuesday, Christie’s auction house sold the painting for $179m, a record for a painting that the auctioneer said could last a decade. The painting, featuring several nude women and was inspired by the work of 19th century artist Eugène Delacroix and one of 15 in a series.

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