Creative Loafing rejects then accepts ad from St. Petersburg art studio featuring nude man
The news was so unexpected, at first Leslie Curran thought she had heard wrong.
But it was true. Creative Loafing, the Tampa-based alternative newspaper, had turned down her St. Petersburg art gallery’s proposed advertisement for a Friday reception celebrating St. Pete Pride.
The reason: It featured a painting by artist Steven Kenny, titled “The Egg,” depicting a nude man viewed from behind.
“Creative Loafing? Don’t they have ads for stripclubs?” said Curran, owner of the ARTicles art gallery and a member of St. Petersburg’s city council. “I thought (the image) was gorgeous…and I’m especially careful of what I put out there because of the City Council connection. I was so surprised they said no, I didn’t even consider how to change it.”
On Tuesday, Kenny posted a message on his Facebook page saying “I’VE BEEN CENSORED.” Later, he found a photo of a stripper pole dancing in a thong which he said had been published in the newspaper’s online strip club directory. Both messages drew dozens of comments, mostly in support.
It may have worked. This morning Curran got a visit from a Creative Loafing representative apologizing for the problems and letting her know the advertisement would be published this week.
Creative Loafing publisher James Howard said the newspaper had a blanket policy requiring all models to have some clothing on, mostly meant for those adult establishments which regularly advertise in their pages.
“We’ve amended our policy, which really didn’t apply to portraits from an art studio,” Howard said. “It’s definitely not offensive…We would probably cover it (as a news event).”