A sexual abuse survivor is furious with artist Andrea Bowers for using an image of her injuries without consent in an installation at Swiss art fair Art Basel.
Bowers said that she’s now removing the images from her piece.
Bowers’ artwork, “Open Secret,” appears in the fair’s “Unlimited” section and is selling for $300,000.
It’s composed of panels, with 200 photographic prints detailing accusations of sexual assaults, as well as some statements from those accused.
“Cool that my f - - king photos and trauma are heading [to] Art Basel,” writer Helen Donahue posted. “Thx for exploiting us for ‘art.’ ”
She added: “Do you know how f - - king insane it is to find out my beat up face and body are on display as art . . . for rich ppl to gawk at thru a stranger’s Instagram Story.”
Donahue had shared the image of bruises on her face and torso via social media.
Andrew Kreps Gallery, which is repping the work with other international galleries, initially said in a social-media post that the installation, “solely depict[s] the accused, not the survivors.”
The gallery then issued a statement that they “would also like to issue an apology to the survivor . . . The galleries stand by Andrea Bowers and her work and support the conversation that has only just begun.”
Bowers said she will remove Donahue’s images and “would like to apologize . . . I should have asked for her consent.”
The artist added that Donahue “has asked that the panel including her photo be removed, and I have honored the request. I have reached out privately and am very much looking forward to listening.”
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