Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories.
‘Want to see more of Egon Schiele’s “unique assets”?’ ‘Want to see Venus – and her Mound of Venus?’ These are just a couple of the suggestive taglines that form the Vienna Tourist Board’s latest promotional campaign, which invites the internet’s denizens to subscribe to its new social media account on OnlyFans – a channel best known for its strictly 18+ content.
Visitors to the tourist board’s page on the website (‘Are you daring enough to take a look at Vienna laid bare on OnlyFans?’) will find images of some of the most famous – and sexually explicit – works of art in the city’s museums, from Schiele’s contorted nudes at the Leopold Museum to ‘spicy masterpieces by Rubens and Titian’ at the Kunsthistorisches Museum. You have to pay to subscribe – but dedicated ‘fans’ will also receive a Vienna City Card or an admission ticket to one of the featured museums.
The campaign builds on an earlier initiative from 2017, in which posters of work by Viennese artists – rejected by Transport for London for being too ‘racy’ – were redesigned with banners covering the offending details and bearing the hashtag #ToArtItsFreedom (covered by your correspondent here). The OnlyFans project, then, is not just a matter of publicity – apparently its mission is ‘to highlight that nude art is part of Western culture and should not be considered 18+’. A noble goal indeed.
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‘She changed how we encounter sculpture’ – remembering Phyllida Barlow (1944–2023)