The Shmooze

Orthodox Neighbors Angry Over Pornographic Exhibit on Lower East Side

By Michael Kaminer

  • Print
  • Share Share

While adolescent yeshiva students may not share their dissatisfaction, Orthodox Jewish neighbors of a Lower East Side art gallery have issued a chorus of complaints over a current exhibition involving pornographic images

According to the New York Post, the Allegra LaViola Gallery’s new “Pornucopia” show “features a slew of sexy nude images of men and women, some having sex… Some of the ‘porn’ pieces are clearly visible through the East Broadway gallery’s windows – and people are fuming that kids are being exposed to smut.”

Miriam Katz, a teacher at the nearby Mesivtha Tifereth Jerusalem school, told the Post the show is “disgusting… My students are innocent children, and they walk by and shouldn’t be exposed to this disgrace… You see in quite detail the anatomy of women. There’s a yeshiva there with boys who pass by every day.”

According to art site ArtInfo, “the gallery has been fielding phone calls all week from angry neighbors, including the local rabbi, who asked LaViola to put up a curtain to cover the offending paintings. She then began getting visits from the police who were called on obscenity complaints, but they ‘have been quite supportive,’ said LaViola, who added that the officers apologetically explained that they are obligated to respond to any calls they receive.”

LaViola declined neighbors’ requests to reorganize the exhibition, she said, because she had already intentionally hung the front with tamer works, ArtInfo reported. The Orthodox community “is set up from to be separate from the world. But at the same time, they live in New York City. They can’t be entirely isolated,” LaViola told ArtInfo.

Despite continuing complaints, the art dealer has no plans to back down. “It isn’t my job to be sensitive to the community- it’s my job to put on the best shows I can,” LaViola tweeted this week. “Blindfold the kids and leave me the hell alone.”


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Allegra LaViola, LES, lower east side, orthodox, pornucopia, school, yeshiva

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • "Israel should deal with this discrimination against Americans on its own merits... not simply as a bargaining chip for easy entry to the U.S." Do you agree?
  • For Moroccan Jews, the end of Passover means Mimouna. Terbhou ou Tse'dou! (good luck) How do you celebrate?
  • Calling all Marx Brothers fans!
  • What's it like to run the Palestine International Marathon as a Jew?
  • Does Israel have a racism problem?
  • This 007 hates guns, drives a Prius, and oh yeah — goes to shul with Scarlett Johansson's dad.
  • Meet Alvin Wong. He's the happiest man in America — and an observant Jew. The key to happiness? "Humility."
  • "My first bra was a training bra, a sports bra that gave the illusion of a flat chest."
  • "If the people of Rwanda can heal their broken hearts and accept the Other as human, so can we."
  • Aribert Heim, the "Butcher of Mauthausen," died a free man. How did he escape justice?
  • This guy skipped out on seder at his mom's and won a $1 million in a poker tournament. Worth it?
  • Sigal Samuel's family amulet isn't just rumored to have magical powers. It's also a symbol of how Jewish and Indian rituals became intertwined over the centuries. http://jd.fo/a3BvD Only three days left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.