The city of Vienna is home to artworks from great masters of paint and sculpture, but apparently some of those images are too hot to handle for social media platforms, whose algorithms censor saucy photos. The Vienna Tourism Board has a sly marketing solution: Vienna is on OnlyFans, a subscription-based service that connects paying users with content creators who post often-NSFW videos and pictures (while the site is used by all kinds of creators, it has built a popular reputation as a place where online sex workers can better control their own image and revenue).
OnlyFans users can pay a little under 5 euros per month to see “Vienna laid bare”. Each post features a single artwork: “This bronze statue from the days of the Roman Empire shows the youthful hero with only a lion’s pelt draped over his shoulder,” reads one – and then suggests the original Hercules is on display at the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Art History Museum, KHM) in Vienna, which tourists should visit.
“On social media, algorithms decide how much nudity can be shown, which means world-famous artworks often end up censored,” said Norbert Kettner, Director of WienTourismus. “We are asking how much nudity we can tolerate and who gets to decide what is offensive. In the cultural metropole of Vienna, we have the answer: nude art is a socio-political and artistic part of cultural history.”
The Vienna Tourism Board has had negative experiences with nudity in ads, according to news website Trending Topics. The board tried to run digital ads linking to their OnlyFans channel, including teaser videos planned for Twitter and Instagram – but “even the teasers, which showed sensitive body parts covered up or cut out, were categorized as ‘restricted,’ ‘adult entertainment’ or ‘pornographic,’” they said in a statement.
Some of the apparently lascivious artwork on OnlyFans includes the Venus of Willendorf as well as paintings by Amedeo Modigliani, Egon Schiele, Tizian and Peter Paul Rubens. Metropole readers lucky enough to live in or near Vienna, however, can skip OnlyFans and head straight for the Albertina, Leopold Museum, Natural History Museum and the KHM, or to one of the city’s many other museums, where any number of utterly naked pieces are on display.