Should Art Be Censored?

One of the definitions of art (thanks to Merriam-Webster) is “something that is created with imagination and skill and that is beautiful or that expresses important ideas or feelings.”

This is a fairly general description, so it can include all forms of art, whether it’s a painting or a sculpture or even a song or dance routine. Art, more often than not, does just that – it helps the artist get across their message or share emotions with the onlookers. There’s one major hitch, though.

Art CensorshipCensorship has been around for as long as art has. A censor, by definition (thanks again, Merriam-Webster) is “a person who examines books, movies, letters, etc., and removes things that are considered to be offensive, immoral, harmful to society, etc.”

While there aren’t generally people who have this title anymore, censorship has been a part of American culture for centuries. Anyone who has ever heard a song on the radio and then later purchased that same song later on an uncensored album on knows what that’s like.

The ideas of expressing yourself through art and censorship do not always get along. There has been a long history of galleries, libraries and other public places being shut down because they have showcased “inappropriate” art. This essentially tells the artist that their feelings are not worthy of showing and that what they feel is wrong.

But how does this work when you think about freedom of speech and expression? Even recently, artists have found their pieces being banned from Facebook and other forms of social media. It’s not always about indecency or content that is deemed too explicit, either. Sometimes artwork gets censored for political or religious reasons.

What do you think? Should art ever be censored? Do you think there is a place for censorship in art?

At Hunakai Studio we encourage students to express their emotions and use their skills to share their thoughts with others. If you would like to enroll in one of our classes, contact us today and we can get you started!