Arne, U arno artist

What is it about contemporary artists that make them so prone to violating other people’s rights with arrogance and impunity? What makes art and culture in our society rage with appropriation, outsourcing, exploitation and invasion of privacy? The latest example is NYC photographer Arne Svenson’s rationalization of voyeurism. Arne took images of neighbors, their children and pets inside their own homes with a telephoto lens, then successfully exhibited and sold them for over $10K. Some of his ‘subjects’ found out he had invaded their privacy and sued Arne. He has been exonerated twice by the NY court system but can anyone deny he is an unethical scumbag? How is this different from the criminality of a stalker or a peeping Tom? His victims are simply going about their normal lives under the assumption that they are not being recorded by someone who will then exhibit to the public and profit from their images without warning or consent. What kind of amoral universe does Arne live in that he cannot understand these people’s objections, no matter what a court of law says? He claims that his subjects are “…performing behind a transparent scrim on a stage of their own creation with the curtain raised high.”, but does anyone really feel they are granting strangers access to a ‘stage’ in their life when they raise the curtains to let in light?… and why doesn’t Arne get it? Does he have no expectation or concept of privacy? It really is baffling to me how some artists rationalize outrageous and unethical behavior in the name of art. Never mind my rants against stealing other images and calling them your own – this is stealing someone’s right to peace of mind in their own home! What does this say about a contemporary Art World that encourages him to profit from his arrogance? And what does it say about our courts that enable someone to invade another’s privacy just because he calls himself an artist? Arne, go get a job with the NSA and rejoice in despicable standards!

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