Naked publicity stunt triggers obscenity row

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Melbourne, Aug 1 : A Brisbane art gallery has created a major furore amongst a family group over its promotion of a new exhibition where motorists have been treated to an alluring spectacle of two naked women cavorting in a bath.

An exhibition at the Joshua Levi Galleries, titled Naked New York, is being promoted with a unique advertising stunt, where two apparently naked women take a bath together and separately from 5pm to 7pm in the gallery's window, in candle-lit scenes reminiscent of the movie American Beauty.

According to reports from the Courier Mail, the exposition by world-renowned artist Tracey Keller features 25 original acrylic paintings on linen depicting naked women in various poses.

This unique advertisement tactic has raised eyebrows in the conservative sections of the city prompting criticism from the Australian Family Association.

However, the police as well as the local council have not received any complaints as yet.

President Mark Holzworth described it as "childish, immature, teenage schoolboy voyeur stuff" that added no credibility to the gallery or the artists featured.

"This will not attract art-lovers, it will attract voyeurs which is not good for Brisbane or women in general. I thought we had grown up as a society. Not even brothels would be this brazen to promote their services," the Daily Telegraph quoted Holzworth, as saying.

He raised concerns that the uncensored nature of the display might see young children walking along the street being exposed without warning.

However, gallery owner Joshua Collings, 27, said that the display was tastefully done and had attracted positive feedback from art lovers and serious investors alike.

"Some of the other galleries have turned up their noses, but we've been told Brisbane is not doing anything lively - this has more of a Melbourne or New York feel. We're more laidback, where (an exhibition) is more of an event than just paintings on a wall," said Collings.

He said that trucks were lining up and even doing word of mouth publicity by telling other drivers to drive past the gallery.

He added: "We got the idea a few weeks ago and thought, 'what a great advertisement'. You see people slowing down in the street there, what better way to promote art?"

A Queensland Police spokesman said they had been assured the women wore sheer tops and bikini bottoms. He said there had been no complaints and no reported traffic problems.

ANI

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