Bare-breasted Venus on MIA's Titian billboard graffiti-bombed with bra
Apparently a kind, neighborhood graffiti artist felt sorry for poor Venus as he went past a billboard for the Minneapolis Institute of Arts' Titian exhibit. Perhaps he thought that the bare-breasted goddess, from the 16th-century work Venus Rising from the Sea, looked mighty cold up there with a foot of snow raining down.
So, he did what any gentleman vandal would do: Help a lady out.
The local art world has been abuzz with the arrival of the Titians--it's a once in a lifetime opportunity to view paintings that are normally housed in the National Gallery of Scotland. The exhibit, including the highly anticipated Diana and Actaeon, Diana and Callisto, and Venus Rising from the Sea, opened on February 6.
Naturally, the museum was hoping to drum up some excitement with its Venus billboard, in which the goddess is shown in the buff, drying her hair:
Then, a marketing employee noticed that something was a little off with the Venus on the corner of Highway 12 and Long Lake Street. She snapped this photo:
MIA Titian Billboard: Before and After
Apparently, someone thought it was just a little too nipple-y outside. Even if this is some kind of Midwestern modesty thing, at least the vandal did grant Venus a saucy red strapless deal--hardly sensible blizzard-people attire.
The MIA's PR staff held a little pow-wow with Clear Channel, who offered to take the billboard down immediately. But head of PR Anne-Marie Wagener was tickled.
"Without those words it did look as though someone's trying to censor it," she says. "But with 'Brrrr!' it has that whole sort of funny element. Because it is cold!"
They've decided to leave Venus and her new wardrobe up.
While the Titians will be on display until May, you can only catch "Venus Rises From Polar Plunge in Red" for another week before the billboard comes down.
Previous Coverage of Prudery in Street Art:
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