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Detroit muralist faces jailtime due to Biblical Eve's breasts

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Detroit muralist faces jailtime due to Biblical Eve's breasts

Old 02-18-05, 02:07 PM
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Detroit muralist faces jailtime due to Biblical Eve's breasts

http://www.freep.com/news/locmac/mural18e_20050218.htm

Muralist's vision has jail staring him in face

February 18, 2005

BY CHRISTY ARBOSCELLO
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER

He painted Eve as God created her: nude.

And when he finished including the bare-bosomed Biblical first woman, he inscribed the word "love" on the mural that covers the outside wall of his Roseville art studio.

In Ed (Gonzo) Stross' eyes, his variation on Michelangelo's "Creation of Man" mural is art.

In 39A District Judge Marco Santia's eyes, it's a crime.

Santia ordered jail time, a fine and probation -- a sentence that sounds a little harsh to a state senator, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan and fellow artists.

Santia ordered Stross, 43, to serve 30 days in jail, do two years' probation and pay a $500 fine for violating a city sign ordinance. Roseville officials said letters were prohibited on the mural and Eve's exposed chest is indecent.

Besides jail time and the fee, Stross is to tastefully cover Eve's breasts before reporting to the Macomb County Jail on Monday morning, and to paint over "love" by May 1.

"Removing the work is the ultimate punishment. The jail time is nothing compared to removing what I painted," Stross said Thursday.

The muralist and his supporters expressed surprise and disappointment in the sentence.

"They're trying to paint me out as a criminal," he said.

After hearing of the penalty, state Sen. Mickey Switalski, D-Roseville, whose office is adjacent to Gonzo Fine Arts Studio at Gratiot and Utica, contacted the ACLU asking it to appeal.

"I disagree with the decision," Switalski said. "I just think the whole episode is a very unfortunate thing for the city."

ACLU Legal Director Michael J. Steinberg said someone from his office planned to meet with Stross later Thursday to discuss representing him.

"It's a sad day in America when an artist goes to jail for reproducing a Michelangelo painting on the side of his art studio," Steinberg said.

Before the jury took approximately 20 minutes to deliberate, Roseville resident Jim Goldwater told jurors his friend Stross is a positive person in the community. He pointed out that the artist is a volunteer at a local homeless shelter and he has painted murals at a school and VFW hall for free.

"I'm not a very emotional man, but I was so upset I was almost in tears," said Goldwater, who aspires to sit on the City Council. "I think it's disgusting, to be honest with you."

He said he plans to raise money for the fine and probation costs. Stross, who has multiple sclerosis and receives disability payments, said money is tight.

In 1997, the city's Zoning Board of Appeals granted him a variance to a sign ordinance. It allowed him to paint the 1,100-square-foot wall under these conditions: no letters, no inclusion of genitalia and regular maintenance of the artwork. The board contends the artist knew breasts and words were not allowed and didn't comply with requests to change them.

Roseville Director of Building and Inspection Steve Truman, who will be city manager next month, said he doesn't object to Santia's ruling.

Truman said he believes Stross likes the attention he gets from the mural controversy.

"I frankly believe it was just self-promotion," he said. "He got a lot of free publicity out of this."

Sterling Heights artist Suzanne Jones said she was shocked that a fellow painter was sentenced to jail for displaying his work.

New York City-based Emerging Arts is a nonprofit organization that promotes up-and-coming artists.

"This is a case of taking the letter of the law to the limit and ending up with something that sounds ridiculous," said Lauren Cerand, the group's spokeswoman. "If it's good enough for the Sistine Chapel, it would be good enough for Roseville."
The "no letters" clause to his variance is one thing, although considering the letters he chose I think they should cut him some slack. Applying the "no genitalia" clause to that mural is just silly.
Old 02-18-05, 02:10 PM
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Thank goodness Judge Santia is thinking of the children!!!!!
Old 02-18-05, 02:12 PM
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I view the variance as a written "contract" and he chose to violate it.TFB. The attitude of "how much violation of the written t&c can I get away with?" is not needed.
Old 02-18-05, 02:12 PM
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Yeah, the jailtime is BS. He did obviously violate the terms of the variance, and a fine is in order, but the city should immediately rethink it's signage regulations to allow the mural and others like it to remain. Boobies are nice.
Old 02-18-05, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by JustinS
http://www.freep.com/news/locmac/mural18e_20050218.htm
The "no letters" clause to his variance is one thing, although considering the letters he chose I think they should cut him some slack. Applying the "no genitalia" clause to that mural is just silly.
yeah! Perhaps the judge should attend a sex education class so that he can understand what "genitalia" are. sheesh, what a dope.
Old 02-18-05, 02:38 PM
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Agreed, breasts are not genitals.
Old 02-18-05, 02:40 PM
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I clicked this thread expecting to see boobies. It does not deliver.
Old 02-18-05, 02:43 PM
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Um, what are you people mad about? Here's your separation of Church and State hard at work; it matters not that there are bare boobies, what matters it that they are biblical boobies.

That can't be tolerated, not when it can be seen from roads and sidewalks owned by the city/state.

NO BIBLICAL BOOBIES!!! ARGH! ARGH!
Old 02-18-05, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Groucho
I clicked this thread expecting to see boobies. It does not deliver.
Oh yeah?



Groucho, I think you this thread a great big apology.
Old 02-18-05, 02:48 PM
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Are those your boobies, Suprmallet? If they are, that's a great pair.
Old 02-18-05, 02:55 PM
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They're my spare boobies. I play with them when I can't play with WhoGirl's.
Old 02-18-05, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Suprmallet
They're my spare boobies. I play with them when I can't play with WhoGirl's.
The right one is way bigger than the left one. Typical.
Old 02-18-05, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Mutley Hyde
Um, what are you people mad about? Here's your separation of Church and State hard at work; it matters not that there are bare boobies, what matters it that they are biblical boobies.

That can't be tolerated, not when it can be seen from roads and sidewalks owned by the city/state.

NO BIBLICAL BOOBIES!!! ARGH! ARGH!
Only you could spin this to an anti-left angle. My first response would be "Welcome to George Bush's America!"
Old 02-18-05, 03:25 PM
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I know we're probably related, but is she hot?
Old 02-18-05, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
I know we're probably related, but is she hot?
Yeah, she's a total MOAMILF.

Spoiler:
Mother of All Mankind
Old 02-18-05, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Numanoid
Only you could spin this to an anti-left angle. My first response would be "Welcome to George Bush's America!"
Kerry won Roseville pretty handily:

http://www.freep.com/pdf/2004/11/05/tricounty.pdf
Old 02-22-05, 01:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Numanoid
Only you could spin this to an anti-left angle. My first response would be "Welcome to George Bush's America!"
Oh come on... you know I'm not the only one.
Old 02-22-05, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by JustinS
"They're trying to paint me out as a criminal," he said.
Boo.

0/5
Old 02-22-05, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Mutley Hyde
Oh come on... you know I'm not the only one.
i thought the same thing until I realized it was a private gallery so it isn't really church and state issue
Old 02-22-05, 02:31 PM
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Actually, it is a sign on the outside of a building and violates the sign ordinance. He was given a variance for size, but it had two conditions:
*No words
*No "private parts"

I think we would all agree the word "LOVE" is a word so that seems a clear cut violation. We may not all agree that boobs should be a private part, but traditionally they are. Women hardly ever run around bare breasted in public, except in strip clubs, etc.

So, what it comes down to is when there is a law and you have been granted a waiver to one part of the law, can you do whatever the fuck you want or are there consequences for going beyond the waiver granted. Roseville decided there were consequences. If there aren't, there is little point to having a law.
Old 02-22-05, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by OldDude
*No "private parts"

No. Read again:

It allowed him to paint the 1,100-square-foot wall under these conditions: no letters, no inclusion of genitalia
I don't know what species have their genitalia located in the breast area. This includes human females. Do you?
Old 02-22-05, 02:36 PM
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Old 02-22-05, 03:18 PM
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Just helps show how moronic people can be in america when it comes to art. Im from the US, and Ive always hated how unbalanced they can be. Lets not see something natural in a non sexual context, NO ,we cant have kids looking at something thats NORMAL, No WAY, but these are many times the same people who believe in Wars too.Naked Breast, SUPER BAD, killing people, Sure, thats ok.
Im referring to any wars, not just the one present.
Things like this make me laugh and stand back to say , wow! people who think 'justice' was served here have major issues with being balanced. People are being killed and real criminals are hard at work, but lets forget about them and waste time on something so trivial as this!
They aparently dont even understand what the conditions they imposed meant anyways, Genitalia!? WHAT? thats SEX ORGANS,Last time I checked you cant have sex with breast,well; nevermind,not real sex. so perhaps the judge and whoever else was associated with this should quit whatever jobs they do have, and start doing something they can reasonably do, like I dont know, picking up cans on the highway. MAYBE They could do that right! MAYBE, if they could avoid being hit by a car.

Sure, tell the guy; look, sorry but even with one of the best, most human words ever, you still cant put letters,, tell him sorry but youll need to take that down by, ... and if not youll be fined. i hate to do that, but thats all I can do.
Wonder how much it cost to send him to jail and all the extras?

Yeah lets see, lets send an artist to jail who did nothing but to create something beautiful, and lets forget about whoever slips through the cracks for a violent attack, theft, rape, whatever else thats an ACTUAL Offense!

Pathetic
Old 02-22-05, 03:23 PM
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Julie Walker?
Old 02-22-05, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by OldDude
We may not all agree that boobs should be a private part, but traditionally they are. Women hardly ever run around bare breasted in public, except in strip clubs, etc.
It's quite sad really.

But, I guess since breasts are so heavenly, they can't be on public display as that would grossly violate the sep....

Whoah, I'm not walkin' into that one again!

Last edited by Mutley Hyde; 02-22-05 at 08:13 PM.

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