Ben Rinehart: Censorship: Exploring the Fringe; Questioning the Source; The End of Suppression

MCL was honored this week to collaborate with an old professor//respected mentor//inspiring artist, Ben Rinehart. Ben is currently an associate professor of Studio Art at Lawrence University in Appleton, WI. 

From Ben: 

My work has been censored, damaged, and ridiculed over the years for a variety of reasons, but mostly for being up front about being a gay artist. The attached images are of pieces that were not deemed acceptable in the public eye in some manner. In the past I typically shrug off this kind of discriminatory act, however age creates a more powerful voice. Labels limit and unfortunately dictate how a piece of art is often meant to be viewed. I prefer to make up my own mind and see this as a valuable opportunity for conversation. 

All images by Ben Rinehart

Use the concept of “censorship” to create something of interest. Your final image could be derived from a variety of “hot” topic such as gay marriage, civil rights, abuse, neglect, etc. This is an opportune time to explore the mundane, silly, and deeply serious issues that influence our current culture. Your idea(s) may be a critique of modern culture or something that you aspire to in the future. Individual opinions that are extreme in any direction are not always popular, however this is an appropriate time to explore what is important to you and to embrace these valuable discussions. 

OUR RESPONSES: 

Your Nipples Aren’t Weird: A Little Book About Nipple Diversity

I had a really hard time coming up with a response to Ben’s prompt until I remembered: Nipples. There is a strong campaign against female nipple censorship, including #freethenipple, celebrity vs instagram protests, and even a nipple printed bikini top. Though I agree that there is a ridiculous nipple-double-standard, I’ve never personally felt the need […]

Limited in Censorship…Working Title

I spent a lot of time thinking about this prompt and came up with many ideas, but it was difficult to settle on an idea that directly impacts my life. It made me even more aware of the privileges I receive by identifying as white, heterosexual, middle-class and male. Although I am passionate about many injustices that […]

Read Between the Lines

This was a tough prompt. After thinking about it for a short time I came to the conclusion that I have never been censored and haven’t even really experienced censorship happening around me (as far as I know). I wrote the following poem about how creativity is born from limitation. I originally planned on finding a […]

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