These Queer Artists Were Censored on Social Media. Now, They’re Fighting Back

STUART SANDFORD, Brent [ii], 2014

“This exhibition is a form of protest, really,” says curator and exhibiting artist Gio Black Peter.

“We removed your post because it doesn’t follow [Instagram’s] community guidelines. If you violate our guidelines again, your account may be restricted or disabled.”

That vague, fateful warning is one Gio Black Peter has received time and time again. To date, Peter, a queer New York-based visual artist, has cycled through 10 Instagram accounts, 15 Facebook pages, two YouTube accounts, and four Vimeo profiles. And he’s not alone: For queer fine artists‚ particularly those whose work includes nudity, censorship on social media is an unfortunate reality. These platforms—all vital networking assets and creative tools for working artists in the digital age—are notorious for their harsh censorship practices, especially when it comes to nudity.

That cautionary message from Instagram ended up becoming the inspiration for The Violators, a new art exhibition slated to open at New York’s Studio UZI this Friday, July 27. Curated by Peter, The Violators features photography, collages, and multimedia artworks from 15 LGBTQ artists whose work has been censored or banned from popular social media platforms.

To attend the opening event or visit the gallery, email Gio Black Peter at