Monday, April 7, 2014

The Empire State Building is suing an artist, the artist is suing back (naked photos on the observation deck)


This happened a couple weeks ago but I just learned of it today.

I am a little confused.  In New York City there is a law that people are allowed to be naked publicly if they are engaged in some type of artistic performance or activity.

In fact, there is a guy in Times Square who paints on the bodies of naked women and the police do not bother him.  Even children stand there with their parents and watch this.


So I don't understand why the Empire State Building is suing an artist who took a photo of a naked woman on the 86th floor observatory of the Empire State Building.  Indeed, this not only seems ridiculous but it seems to be an attack on the artist's freedom to express himself.

{{'to sue' someone is to take the person to court to answer some type of complaint you have made - usually you are seeking or asking for money from the person as a type of punishment against that person...}}

The artist did not break any laws - or he would have been arrested by the police.

So what do you think?  The Empire State Building does not want people taking naked photos on their property. Yet, the artist claims that the Empire State Building is 'iconic' (hugely famous) and that artists have a right to use iconic buildings and images in their art. Furthermore, the Empire State Building does not explicitly (openly and clearly) state that naked photos cannot be taken (from what I can tell).  And where are their security guards? If someone is doing something that you don't want done on your property, aren't security guards supposed to be there to stop it?

The artist points out that over 30 people have jumped from the Empire State Building in its history (since the 1930s).  So where's the security at this place?

An article about this topic:

http://gothamist.com/2014/03/19/topless_photographer_countersues_em.php#photo-1

Vocabulary to help you understand the article:

NSFW - not safe for work.  This means: Be careful when you view this story! If your boss sees it you might get into trouble.

to countersue - is someone sues someone, the person being sued can countersue (in many cases).  So the artist is claiming that his reputation (what people think of him) was damaged by the Empire State Building when they sued him for taking a photo of a woman not wearing the top part of her clothing.  Personally, I think it was foolish for the Empire State Building to sue this photographer.

boobs about town - boobs are a female's breasts. So this photographer wanders around NY City taking photos of half-naked women.

a stunt - an action, often a risky action. In movies there are 'stunt men' who do dangerous things in place of actors

defiant - if you refuse to surrender or quit, or if you fight back you are considered defiant

intentionally - deliberately, not randomly; if you do something intentionally, you choose to do it

unauthorized - the Empire State Building did not give him permission

objectionable - people are offended or bothered by things which are objectionable; so the Empire State Building (ESB) is stating that people were morally/ethically bothered by what this person did

way before - long before

to snuff out - to end; if you want to stop a candle from burning, you snuff out the flame

mindsets - attitudes; this photographer doesn't seem to realize that although Austin is in Texas, it is a very open-minded city.

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