Censorship and Cock Portraits

Updated: Oct 5, 2018



If you want to know what defines an era, look no further than the artists and authors who fell foul of it. Censorship is as old as civilisation itself, and the drive to suppress is as strong today as ever, perhaps encouraged by the revolutionary access to everything that is the Internet Age.


In 2012, the Chinese state television, CCTV, censored Michelangelo’s masterpiece David’s Appolo, I thought it was ridiculous but history helps us to understand how traditional, introspective and conservative Chinese culture still is. 

What really shocked and saddened me was that, four years after poor David’s censorship, Facebook removed a photo of the 16-century statue of Neptune from its site due to the “explicitly sexual content”. Since then, social media have often faced criticism for censoring art or shadow-banning artists. 

This is the climate that compelled me to grasp the challenge of redefining both the male anatomy and its inherent beauty. Therefore, I produced a series of penis drawings, titled “Cock Portraits”. Through these drawings, I want to confront the idea that male genitalia are objects of sin and subversion. For me, they are simply a part of the human body that, with appropriate presentation, can be both beautiful and artistic.

As a gay man and an artist, I believe that male nudity is never deserving of stigmatisation, never a focus of size-shaming and never a target of bigoted censorship.

I have a message for Facebook, Instagram and whoever rails against artistic nude images, “ART IS FOR ALL, NOT FOR CENSORSHIP”. 


* The Little Booklet of Cock Portraits is now available at MOPA store