Dealer, collector and curator of Outsider, Visionary, Esoteric and Occult Art, STEPHEN ROMANO GALLERY, in an effort to promote artist INDIA EVANS in his booth at SCOPE ART FAIR 2018 has been BANNED from FACEBOOK for 30 days for posting a link to a feature on the artist’s work on DISINFO.
This follows FACEBOOK’s absurd banning as pornograhic one of the world’s oldest known works of art the Venus of Willendorf,
Stephen Romano, who has been banned before for posting works by WILLIAM MORTENSEN from the 1920’s said “Oh well, nothing new, FACEBOOK goes against it’s own COMMUNITY STANDARDS on posting artworks that depict NUDITY IN ARTWORKS regularly. What’s extremely disconcerting is that Facebook has made itself the final arbitrator of what’s appropriate for social media with one public policy and inconsistent retribution. I dont know if it’s because the moderators are not trained well enough to know the difference between art and porn – which is facebook’s responsibility, not an excuse – but I think in this case it’s pretty obvious this a hand created artwork and is exempt from being hidden , and me from being banned.. Whatever the case may be, Facebook should be supportive of artists who push the boundaries, and relative to other things I’ve seen on Facebook, the works of India Evans, while controversial, are not malicious or vitriolic in any way shape or form. They do not depict harmful speech or repression towards any person, group or ethnicity, so what’s the basis for the censure or the ban? Art is meant to engage, to edify and to challenge us, and this work fulfills those premises. It should be celebrated, not shamed. ”
Artist India Evans responded:
INSTAGRAM also censored the announcement by STEPHEN ROMANO GALLERY that it was banned from facebook, taking down this post immediately:
Stephen Romano didn’t stop there:
“In DEFENSE OF THE ARTIST, as far as I’m concerned INSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK have declared war on artists, and engaged in a smear campaign against India Evans, by their actions of maligning her ARTWORK as pornographic, attempting to strip her of her right to express herself uninhibitedly. In the abstract space of social media, this is very harmful and ill considered.”
If it’s an untrained person in a third world country in a cyber farm who made the decision to censure and ban, under pressure of producing a quota, that reflects on how aloof and casual Facebook’ takes it’s responsibility and demonstrates a lack of consideration on how serious the implication of their actions of censure are.
Facebook delegates power of judgement – without any avenue of appeal – to uninformed, overworked, underpaid and obviously uninformed tech workers about the work of artists who have dedicated themselves to a serious practice and made immeasurable sacrifices to perpetuate themselves. This is an imbalance of power, completely unjustified, and the artist is the one who suffers.”