PAUL GEORGES AMERICAN PAINTER 1923-2002
Bacchanal 1964-67 62 7/8" x 164"w dipytch above/ below The Studio 1965 120 1/2" x 79 1/2 "w CollectionThe Whitney Museum of American Art
My Kent State I 1970-71 88" x 82"w
Fantasy About Freedom I 1973-76 92 3/4" x 105 7/8"w
Perseus Slaying the Medusa 1981-84 114" x 168"w
The Mugging of the Muse was the First Libel Lawsuit against a painting in history. PG lost.
Brilliant Attorneys Victor Kovner and Harriette Dorsen Won the Appeal on The First Amendment Right to Freedom of Speech.
Silberman and Siani vs. Paul Georges 1975-1982 is a Lawsuit positioning Court approved Censorship against the Right to Freedom of Speech (here in Art and Painting). The case was unprecedented, written about in global publications and is still taught at Stanford, Yale and other law schools. The suers hoped to steal PG's loft. Jane Freilicher's husband Joe Hazan offered cash if needed. Somehow, it wasn't. Grace Glueck wrote on the case in The NY Times often. Articles on the painting & the Libel Lawsuit are available, yet 40 years after the Court Ruling the case is little known by today's art world.
Siani began as a student who followed PG from Colorado, he got as far as Hoboken. In 1969, after whining & pleading PG reluctantly agreed Siani's wife Hatsy could buy the 2nd Floor at 85 Walker, the building PG founded as a co-op to protect his family when rent on Broadway + Bleecker skyrocketed from $28 in 1960 to $150 a month in '68. Once Siani had a loft, he & the hallway reeked of pot all day. He infuriated PG voting for Nixon & cheering for the Vietnam War. PG determined to express his feelings of outrage using his brush. High on dope, Siani leered at young girls until his eyes & mouth twitched uncontrollably, publicly exposing creepy lust. In 1974, a slide of PG's painting was projected at a weekly artists meeting: Siani's shriek began. For 8 years he seethed, he threatened, he tried to force PG to change the nose. He sued. His Socialist club sent Projansky a free lawyer; together they concocted the infamous first Libel lawsuit in history against a painting. Ostracized after losing , Silberman & Bradford from then on went to the Socialist club & made religious themed art. Silberman resided w/his mother in Coney Island or a mental asylum. Siani died on the 2nd Floor of 85 Walker riddled with cancer, sneering down his long twisted nose at a joint.
The Mugging of the Muse is allegorical. The Muse represents Art, Inspiration & Freedom. The muggers are wearing masks to hide their identities, they carry knives to treacherously stab the muse. Muggers might pull the ethereal Muse into the dark, stinking inferno of sweatshop exhaust fumes in the alley. On Walker St the hydrant flows blood red warning. Dilapidated, bum infested Walker St circa 1970's NYC can't protect anyone. The Muse wants to be free. How/who/what can fight off evil? the artist & his dog? an angel? Light and Life? The sky? The clouds? Freedom itself?
The action takes place at the desolate corner of Cortlandt Alley at Walker before the recent pave & spray job w/extra deodorizer. In recent decades films, TV shows, music videos from the Smurfs, Crocodile Dundee, POSE & Phil Collins has filmed in the Alley. PG's painting immortalizes the fearsome Cortlandt Alley past and allegorical. Victoriously, PG won the Appeal ~ His Constitutional Right to Freedom of Speech in The Mugging of the Muse battered yet intact. masks censors muggers vicious backstabbing freedom loft art oil paint linen brushes horizon soul music Sex Pistols Dylan Bach 85 Walker sewers Kent State Murder Malcolm X Black Panthers Vietnam Nixon JFK RFK censorship courts trials blood thirsty Alley rats filth garbage reek censorship Free Speech Allegory Muse Inspiration Artists Life Loft Rights Fight Make Love Not War Peace Freedom
The First Amendment protected the Right to Freedom of Speech in Historic 1982 Ruling
80" x 103"w Private Collection