Vulgarity not wanted

It was a nice day on DPW today~no penis paintings!!!


At first I didn’t know what you were referring to, however, I looked at the work on the What’s New page over the last week and it quickly became clear.

According to our posting policy, artful male nudes are just as welcome as artful female nudes. The penis paintings you refer to and I saw do cross the line or our policy in being explicitly sexual, even if quite colorful and playful.

I have been thinking on this for a while and am going to put into place a “Mature Content” categorization feature, both with the artist responsible for marking a work as mature content and also letting anyone else report it as such, if not appropriately marked.

The way I am thinking it will work, is work marked mature will be obscured in some way, allowing the visitor to chose to view it. I’ll also make it a setting available when one registers.


Thank you for looking into it. I agree that artful nudes are most welcome. Your solution will be perfect.


I agree about those paintings because the detail was very graphic and l thought, why is that here!? One painting and then later on another day, another just the same.


David - I have not seen the work but thought, to be honest, I can say the female bondage painting recently raised questions for me. Occasionally work is shown which to my eye has very little artistic value - I have been an art student for most of my almost 80 years of life and I have always loved life drawing - admire the craftsmanship of atelier work. Not sure how you are going to be able to choose which pieces of art submitted are on either side of what may seem to be a fine line. May I suggest that teachers of truly legitimate fine art life drawing be a guide? Valerie’s atelier or Studio Incamminati in Philadelphia have excellent academic standards. Good luck in your endeavors. Now I will look at “What’s New”. Thank you for being such an excellent steward. Ann


I totally agree about the penis paintings. Enough is enough. The bondage paintings are also pretty strange.

Yes!! I have no problem with tasteful nudes, but these artists continually cross the line.

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Hi Ann,

I appreciate the feedback!

I rarely have a problem determining if a work crosses the lines set in our posting policy, it’s more that I don’t always catch it. Or, even if I do, the work may have been on the front page for some hours. When I do, I remove it and contact the artist.

We don’t screen posted art and I really don’t ever want to. I am hoping artists being able to mark their artwork as a nude and, failing that, the anyone can “Flag as Nude” feature being a failsafe, will keep that from happening.

If offensive work, such as the bondage art, continues to be a problem, then I may very well add a “Flag as Offensive” feature.


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If I may, I’d like to point out that a button for offensive art puts the burden on the viewer. To hope that an artist will flag their own work as offensive is like hoping a disgruntled person with a gun will not walk into a school and kill children. These people know full well they are crossing the line. They are doing it as a challenge to you and to the rest of us artists and I believe you are at a crossroads. The original mission for your site was wonderful but these people are here and they wish to upset the applecart.

While I appreciate that you do not want to police what gets posted, I hope you appreciate that I don’t want to invite my collectors to visit a site where they will be confronted by smut. Thank you, this has been a lovely site for quite awhile. However, I believe I’ll be taking down my gallery at this time.



Hi Melissa,

In rereading my last post, I realize I have perhaps caused confusion about my intentions.

I am not leaving it up to the viewer. I will continue to review the day’s new artwork every morning (I get up at about 4am, which helps), however, the “Report as Offensive” feature, which will be up tomorrow, is intended only to be a back up. I am sorry that I missed the penis and the bondage pieces and will do better.

An alternative would be for me to moderate all work. This would guarantee that nothing that doesn’t comply with our posting policy is ever posted. Since we have artists from all over the world, posting art at all times, this would mean that some artists could wait up to 8 hours before seeing their work on DPW.

If you would like, you can direct your clients directly to your DPW Gallery website and not to DPW itself. If you set up a custom domain name to point to your DPW Gallery, which you can do through DPW for $11 a year, there will be no references or links to DPW from your Gallery for your clients to follow.

Take care,


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Hi David,

Thank you so much for taking the time to clarify. Really, this has been such a wonderful site for such a long time, I’m relieved you will be taking those steps to keep it that way. I’ve “uncanceled” my account and am delighted to be able to stay. It is nice that you make that possible and easy to do!

Thanks again,


Hello David. I have enjoyed showing and sharing my art on this site for a few years now. I am greatly alarmed at seeing the new “Flag as Nude” and “Report as Offensive” on each page where my art is sold. It is in bold and makes the issue quite important. I understand the concerns of the artists above, but I believe this response is going way overboard. This is an art site. I do not want my potential clients to have this type of negative craziness. It feels quite repressive. That’s my two cents. I hope others agree.
Thank you.

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Hi Laurelle,

I absolutely agree with it all being too much in one’s face. I was in reaction mode when I put it in place. I don’t always get things right the first time, which is why I love feedback from our artists and buyers.

I have made the following changes:

  • I have deemphasized the “Hide Nude” button in the search bar and the “Mark as a Nude” link in the pop-up.

  • I have removed the “Report as Offensive” link in the pop-up altogether. Instead, I’ll continue to look for and remove posting policy violations. After more thought, I don’t think the issue has never been significant enough to warrant having a reporting feature that is a constant negative. And I don’t think the issue is any worse now than before.

  • The “Mark as Nude” link no longer shows in the pop-up when the pop-up is opened from the artist’s DPW Gallery since nudes can’t be hidden in the galleries anyway.

Thank you again for your feedback!


Yes, I do agree. I never intended for this to be a fire alarm situation. :)

I agree with Laurelle_Cidoncha.

I have to respectfully disagree. It’s very odd to me that artists would even be discussing the concept of “vulgarity.” I never saw the paintings in question, but I think of the remarkable, remarkable painting of Joe Gould by Alice Neel, which is now a classic (she painted him with multiple penises). Your post made me go look up that painting and witness for myself how remarkable it is. The idea that any artist might decide what’s “vulgar” is antithetical to the very idea of intellectual freedom represented by art itself. I posted a painting of a drowned Ophelia the other day and was attacked by a member who said that “it’s horrible to paint corpses,” even though the dead Ophelia is, of course, a classic painting subject. The human body is beautiful. Artistic freedom is beautiful. I choose to celebrate both. Again, I very respectfully disagree but have to note that I find the whole tenor of this conversation disturbing. :)

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Yada yada yada. I knew someone would bring up the sacredness of “artists” painting whatever they want in the name of expression. Whatever. This isn’t the place for it.

Perhaps you might consider consulting the community guidelines on what constitutes civil discourse. And perhaps we both might consider allowing the directors to decide what’s appropriate for the site. Otherwise, this is a wonderful place, and I have no desire to antagonize anyone. You have a terrific day.

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Amazing that you have nothing better to do than pick a fight about penis paintings.

I was expressing an opinion, not picking a fight. This forum is open to all, and I’ve been very polite?

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