Artwork using artist’s sperm banned as potential health hazard

Artwork using artist’s sperm banned as potential health hazard

Fridge containing artist's forbidden sperm
Fridge containing artist’s forbidden sperm

A controversial piece of art gives a new definition to “seminal work.” New York Magazine reports that a Master of Fine Arts candidate at New York’s School of Visual Arts will not be given the chance to display his final project — a refrigerator containing 68 vials of his own semen. The school claims that the decision to ban Marc Bradley Johnson’s labor of self-love, titled “Take This Sperm and Be Free Of Me,” was predicated on concerns over viewer safety.

In an interview with the Huffington Post, Johnson said that “the whole thing was so blown out or proportion. The school called my work a threat to homeland security.”

The article notes that in addition to gathering “his creative juices” in preparation for the artwork, Johnson has offered vials of his sperm on Craigslist, giving strangers an opportunity to explore themes of “creation, parenting, desire, masculinity, fantasy, and reality.”

After the work in progress was approved, faculty members began to have second thoughts. As a precaution, they ordered Johnson to microwave the sperm to kill it, but even that measure was not enough to assuage the concerns of SVA’s director of environmental health and safety, who has ordered that the semen vials be sealed in a box labeled “bio hazardous waste.”

But Johnson reports he will come again. Undaunted, he will continue to push the boundaries of semen-centric art and has said he is “interested in eventually finding a stranger to have a child with me.”

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Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.


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