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Nude with mannequin

Guelph photographer sparks online controversy over provocative pictures
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mannequin 1
The BBC reported that Julia Busato's Mannequin Series of photographs got her banned from Facebook. But she's back. (Facebook image)

Provocative, occasionally risqué, Guelph photographer Julia Busato appears to have been recently banned from Facebook. As of Monday, however, her Julia Busato Photography Facebook page was back up, along with the series of semi-nudes that recently caused a flap on the social networking site. Check it out here.

Her name and her work received international attention when the mighty BBC reported that Busato was given the boot off the site because of a somewhat ribald series of photographs.

Her popular Mannequin Series features mostly nude female subjects holding a semi-transparent mannequin torso in front of their bodies.

While obscuring those areas that some might find a touch too private for public viewing, the mannequin’s shape is strikingly out of sync with the many unique shapes and sizes of the models.  

The images have received tens of thousands of likes on Facebook, but the BBC reported that there were complaints about them. Those complaints apparently got Busato temporarily banned from Facebook.

Such a ban is a big deal for the photographer because it infringes on her ability to earn a living, she is on the record as saying. Back on March 9 she stated such in a Facebook post.

“I make a living from the contacts I make on social media,” Busato wrote. “Being blocked from Facebook, for example, can have a serious negative affect on one’s ability to pay their bills.”

She was defending herself and her art against online critics, calling the complaints and reports about her images a form of bullying.

The photographer did not respond to email messages from GuelphToday.com on Monday, but her Facebook site, which has over 52,000 likes, was up and running on the first day of spring. And the Mannequin Series could be viewed.

The series consists of about 50 images, all but three of the subjects being female. The models, some heavily tattooed, interact with the mannequin in fun, ironic, sometimes angry ways, holding it in front of their bodies. It is obvious that none of the subjects fit the mold the mannequin suggests is an ideal, nor do they want to fit it.   

The series, which began about a year ago, can be seen here.