March 11, 2008

GreaseTank on censorship

"When strangers ask me what kind of art I do, I tell them lakes. Always a beautiful lake, I tell them, with an angel with diaphanous, outstretched wings hovering above the water, and golden trout leaping over a rainbow formed by her tears. A young boy stands on the shore, fragile and alone, peering into its watery depths"

"What a lovely scene," they say. "You must show us some day."

"Oh, I'm much too shy."

It’s a lie, of course. What I really do are pictures of men torturing and killing other men.

Often for sexual pleasure."


This (rather tame) digital art comes from a website called Greasetank. Greasetank was as I remember a large collection of extreme artwork by Greasetank and many different queer artists on themes violence and sexuality. I personally found the artwork both exciting and horrifying. However, I was shocked to found out awhile ago that Greasetank was censored, taken off the internet because a new UK law outlawing websites combining sex and violence, including artwork. I could rant on and on about my view on art censorship, but Ron the creator of Greasetank says it best:

"I don’t know exactly what name to give my art. I just know it’s what I do. It offends some, fascinates others, and turns on quite a few. I believe there's a largely unexplored region in the human psyche, something Jung called "the Shadow," that many of us are reluctant to face. It isn’t pretty, but it must be examined at if we’re to gain control over it. Until we do, it exerts its influence in secret, which can lead to real-life violence of all kinds.

Censorship is an ugly thing.

I can appreciate that my images aren’t for everyone, but I don’t understand why a few would want to deny others the freedom to view them and decide for themselves. Perhaps these self-proclaimed arbiters of good taste in art have their motives, but must they force their tastes on others? None of my images has ever been hauled into court and charged with a crime, but evidently that’s not good enough for these self-anointed censors.

I define censorship as any act that suppresses human growth and creativity. Ironically, these days most of it comes from within. Some things are just too painful to look at, I suppose, so we pretend they don't exist.

Personally, I would recoil in horror were any of the material on my site to take place in real life, but please allow me the freedom to create my art. That’s all I, or any artist asks for, really; the freedom to explore our God-given talents. I accept whatever responsibility is mine, and pray that life deals justly and compassionately with me; but I refuse to decide for others what they can view or read. I'm not superior enough to make that judgment call.

Perhaps my art represents all that is base in the human spirit. I don't know, but I do know one thing—you don't come to the light by suppressing the darkness. Everything must eventually be uncovered and revealed for what it is, and therein lies the real danger of censorship. It stifles our spiritual growth."

Read Greasetank full response HERE

If you dare, the last online gallery of Greasetank's work is HERE


slavedog fang said...

Big Dawg,
i've fucking loved grease tanks nasty-assed shizzle for years now - for long may they reign!

Dominic Johnson said...

This website has been set up to oppose the Draconian obscenity laws in the UK which, if passed, will mean that possessing a dirty Slava Mogutin image or jerking off to Brian Kenny's website might land a British pussyboy in trouble with the law:

Anonymous said...

You used to be able to download anything you wanted from his site. I got everything I wanted, which was far from all of it. But surely some people collected it all. So the question is, where can we get the entire collection now? Surely it's being shared as a single download. And since they're just pics, it wouldn't even be a very large file size. Websites may be fear displaying the pics, but uploading the entire collection to rapidshare and providing a link wouldn't be problematic.

Brian Kenny said...

Good question, his pics are out there. I just did a new google search for Greasetank and found a number of his websites featuring some of his work. As for one site that has everything from Greasetank, I urge anyone reading this that has saved all or a large portion of his work to upload them somewhere and let us know! As some of you may know, the artist behind Greasetank died in 2008. But let's keep his memory alive through the accessibility and protection of his artistic output.