Say what you will about the global pivot online, but it’s certainly led to greater exposure, in more ways than one. With remote work in full swing, the shift in ideals has opened the door for virtual meetings, masterclasses and experiences, but nothing could have prepared us for the onslaught of OnlyFans. The NSFW platform that allows creators to share ‘sexually explicit’ content with their subscribers has exploded in popularity over the past 18 months, buoyed by challenging economic times and the rise of the ‘porn-trepreneur‘. But it turns out, you don’t have to be hot and young to make a killing on OnlyFans. In fact, a spunky little 1,600-year-old has just got into the action.
In what can only be described as a first, Austrian city Vienna has signed up for the platform, eager to share its most provocative of art pieces. According to the Vienna Tourist Board, other social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram have consistently blocked images from some of the city’s revered museums. Works by Rubens and Schiele have reportedly been slammed for reasons of “excessive nudity” and “adult entertainment”. Naturally, OnlyFans was the answer.
“In social media, algorithms determine how much nudity may be shown and often censor world-famous works of art,” Vienna Tourist Board Director Norbert Kettner told Forbes. “We question how much nudity we can tolerate and who can determine what we find offensive. In the cultural metropolis of Vienna, the question can be answered: Nude art is socio-political and artistic part of cultural history.”
Censorship of artwork is nothing new, but the recent approach from Facebook and Instagram has hit global museums hard. According to reports, The Albertina Museum has had its accounts suspended for showing nude artworks and found itself in the unenviable position of being prevented from advertising key elements of its current exhibition of Amadeo Modigliani. Similarly, the tourist board told Forbes that The Leopold Museum, which is home to the world’s largest collection of Egon Schiele works would have had no chance of being seen on social media, had it not been for OnlyFans.
“His art famously irritates and provokes, and still attracts the attention of censors a hundred years after his death,’ the board explained. “The museum has often had problems with advertising its exhibitions because popular social networking platforms have banned the depiction of nudity.”
As with most OnlyFans accounts, the Vienna Tourist Board is charging a subscription fee, with new subscribers able to score a Vienna City Pass or ticket to a featured museum while supplies last. At the moment, there’s a promotion of USD$3 for 31-day access, and the regular subscription fee is USD$4.99 per month.
While the solution is innovative, it does pose an interesting question over freedom of expression. Can social media really ponder the legitimacy of artworks designed to detail the full human experience? Or should historical significance hold weight? Conversely, you could argue the art world has found its home. The form is meant to provoke, disrupt and elicit a primal response, what better place to find content that does just that than OnlyFans?