The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Friday, September 20, 2019


Brazilians hot and bothered over risque sand sculptures
Ubiratan da Conceiçao dos Santos, who has created sand sculptures of women at Copacabana beach for 23 years, touches one of his creations in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on December 2, 2015. The sensual sculptures of Copacabana beach will be banned since the Society of Friends of Copacabana claims they incite to prostitution and the municipality considers them detrimental for the image of the city. AFP PHOTO / CHRISTOPHE SIMON.

By: Claire De Oliveira Neto


RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP).- Sand sculptures of curvaceous, full-bottomed women on Copacabana beach may be one of Rio de Janeiro's wackier tourist attractions, but now they're under fire from a resident's association claiming the risque creations promote prostitution.

Jassim Al-Alawadhi was one of several tourists stopping to take a selfie in front of a larger-than-life sculpture of a woman lying on her front, with her sand backside, clad in a tiny string bikini, sticking prominently in the air.

"It's just sand. I don't think it is an excuse for prostitution or vice. It's just a sculpture and it's what the poor man here does to make a little money," said Al-Alawadhi, a 26-year-old financial analyst visiting from Kuwait. 

The creator, 63-year-old Ubiratan dos Santos, said he'd been working on sand sculptures at the famous beach for 23 years.

"I've made women of all types -- one day in a bikini, another in a skirt. To want to ban me shows a lack of respect for my work," he said.

As he spoke, he delicately spread sea water over the controversial backside. The damp treatment is needed "because otherwise if there's wind, it will be all finished."

But disapproving residents may do what the wind cannot.

Horacio Magalhaes, 48, a lawyer and head of the Friends of Copacabana association, said that given the area's reputation for prostitution, the sculptures are "at the least of questionable taste."

"There is this sexual message for tourists coming to Rio not to see our beautiful landscapes and beaches, or to learn about our culture or our historic patrimony, but rather to learn about the 'bum area' of our women," he said.

"It's definitely not the kind of tourism that the public authorities or the residents want," he added.

"We want Copacabana, the cradle of Bossa Nova music, to recover its charm, to become a residential and family neighborhood again -- and these sculptures do not help that."

Lewd or art?
A representative of the mayor's office came by this week to ask for a stop to the pieces, dos Santos said, saying that local people considered it was encouraging the neighborhood's long-standing prostitution business.

Deputy Mayor Bruno Ramos confirmed that he'd like to see an end to the sculptures. 

"It's not good for the city's image," he told AFP.

The sculptures already had their detractors back in 2013 when Pope Francis came to Brazil and Copacabana filled with three million Catholic faithful. The bare bottoms were covered out of respect.

But for dos Santos, the polemic is "a circus. They'd be better off dealing with the violence in the city." He vowed to stand guard at night. 

Another tourist said he couldn't understand the controversy, given the popularity in Brazil of revealing string bikinis.

"The women you see on the beach, aren't they practically naked? I think this is art, it's very beautiful and I defend this form of art," said Luciane Silvestre, 48, who took pictures and left a donation with the sculptor.

For Magalhaes, that argument doesn't work.

"People on the beach can dress as they like and the public authorities cannot say anything, but these sculptures are in a public space and the mayor's office needs to bring order," he said.



© 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse






Today's News

December 5, 2015

"Hoards: The Hidden History of Ancient Britain" opens at the British Museum in London

Sotheby's Paris African and Oceanic Arts department's last sale of the year totals $6.3 million

Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine exhibits works by Renzo Piano Building Workshop

New Orleans Museum of Art features American art collection with visions of US

Shapiro Auctions announces highlights from its December sale of International Fine and Decorative Art

World's top nature photos to be projected onto St Peter's in solidarity with climate change

First exhibition of photographs by Fort Worth photographer Jeremy Enlow opens at PDNB

Sarah Moon's most comprehensive exhibition to date on view at Deichtorhallen in Hamburg

Rare Meissen goes home as German museum snaps up treasure at Bonhams European Ceramics Sale

Three 'Van Gogh Girls' outfits by Viktor & Rolf on display at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Exhibition of new paintings by French artist Agathe de Bailliencourt opens at Blain/Southern

Hermès rarities = Holiday Luxury at Heritage Auctions' accessories signature auction

Roy Lichtenstein and historic property from the Christian deGuigné Collection to highlight Clars sale

Eleven opens annual Christmas Salon exhibition

The London Original Print Fair 2016 announces dates and launch of a new purchase grant for museums

Second artist shortlist for the BMW Art Journey announced

2016 Wolfgang Hahn Prize goes to artist Huang Yong Ping

Brazilians hot and bothered over risque sand sculptures

Exhibition of recent paintings by Philip Pearlstein opens at Betty Cuningham Gallery

Capo Auction tops own sales record with Antonio Bandeira Brazilian painting

Exhibition of works by Josef Hofer opens at Christian Berst art brut

Exhibition of work by jeweller Romilly Saumarez Smith and artist Verdi Yahooda opens in Norwich

The Human Body: Measure and Norms: Group exhibition opens at Blindspot Gallery

Mayfair's new contemporary art gallery opens

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Holocaust 'masterpiece' causes uproar at Venice film festival

2.- To be unveiled at Sotheby's: One of the greatest collections of Orientalist paintings ever assembled

3.- Bender Gallery features paintings by up and coming Chicago artist Michael Hedges

4.- Lévy Gorvy exhibits new and historic works by French master in his centenary year

5.- Artificial Intelligence as good as Mahler? Austrian orchestra performs symphony with twist

6.- Fascinating new exhibition explores enduring artistic bond between Scotland and Italy

7.- Exhibition explores the process of Japanese-style woodblock production

8.- Robert Frank, photographer of America's underbelly, dead at 94

9.- The truth behind the legend of patriot Paul Revere revealed in a new exhibition at New-York Historical Society

10.- Hitler bust found in cellar of French Senate



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 



Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful