The artist Matthew Weinstein has been booted from Facebook for the unforgivable offense of posting Gustav Courbet’s The Origin of the World to his page.
Mr. Weinstein, who frequently shows at Sonnabend Gallery and uses 3-D modeling in his works, refused to take down the image, despite requests to do so from Facebook. The moderators of the social network are notoriously prude when it comes to artistic works featuring nudity, and have been particularly strict in their opposition to this single Courbet from 1866.
“Since Facebook has revealed itself as a site in which a spring break wet T-Shirt event is deemed more appropriate for a mass audience than a masterpiece by Courbet, I have to finally leave it,” Mr. Weinstein wrote in an e-mail to Gallerist. “Artists spend their lives learning where they do not fit in. So I’m still learning.”