The Anti-Deitch “Safe Art” Condom Conundrum

01.17.11 Marina Galperina

The next wave backlash to Deitch’s censoriship of Blu’s mural comes in the form of these Don’t Be Blu, Practice Safe Art condoms from L.A. Raw, the group behind the “Dump Deitch” laser graffiti protest. Great cause, catchy catchphrase… flawed metaphor?

L.A. Raw passed out these blue Blu rubbers Friday at the Fowler Museum in Los Angeles before a “How Does Street Art Humanize Cities?” panel. L.A. Raw explains:

The “Deitch” condoms simply state “Don’t Be Blu, Practice Safe Art” playing with a well known public health campaign which utilized the slogan “Practice Safe Sex.” In the case of the “Deitch” condom – the “product” speaks to the disease of censorship and intolerance of political dissent which must be handled by practicing safe art and hindering expression in order to not ruffle the feathers of the powers that be.

So… If you put it on, are you protecting yourself from “the disease” of censorship by practicing safe art? Safe sex = safe art = bad? I don’t think L.A. Raw meant to equate daring art with unsafe sex — or advocate doing it raw — but, who else is confused? And wouldn’t putting on this “product” with the label “don’t be blu” turn your penis blue? Oh, whatever. I give. Let’s just agree that censorship in art is as unpleasant crotch rot in your pants and move on.

Or, here’s another solution:

L.A. Raw converged organically in the wake of Jeffrey Deitch’s whitewashing and plans to parade in a “Funeral Procession for Freedom of Expression” on January 20th by the Biltmore Hotel where Smithsonian secretary G. Wayne Clough is due to appear.