PAUL GEORGES AMERICAN PAINTER 1923-2002
Bacchanal 1964 62 3/4" x 82"w 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 sewers hoped to steal PG's loft; history repeats itself. 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 the outrage with 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 high pitched whine 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 Libel lawsuit against a painting. Ostracized after losing Siani, Silberman & Bradford from then on went to the Socialist club & made religious themed art. Silberman resided w/his mother in Coney Island. 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, the muggers carry knives to treacherously stab the muse. The muggers might pull the Muse into the dark, stinking inferno of sweatshop exhaust fumes in the alley. On Walker St the hydrant flows Red blood in 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? an artist & his dog? an angel? Light and Life? The sky? The clouds? The Horizon? 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 Smurfs, Crocodile Dundee & POSE to Phil Collins has filmed in the Alley. PG's painting immortalizes the fearsome Cortlandt Alley past, present (late-night) & allegorical. Victoriously, PG won the Right to Freedom of Speech in Art & his Painting The Mugging of the Muse. masks muggers vicious white collar thieves Sex Pistols art oil paint linen brushes music horizon Dylan Bach 85 Walker sewers turds courts trials bloodthirsty kitsch red back stabber Alley rats filth garbage reek Freedom of Speech Allegory Muse Inspiration Freedom Artists Life Rights Lofts worth fighting for
Make Love Not War Peace
The First Amendment protected the Right to Freedom of Speech in Historic 1982 Ruling
80" x 103"w Private Collection