We’ll start by saying that there’s probably loads of content on OnlyFans that many would consider to be art. But it seems unlikely that any creators on the platform—which is not exclusively for adults-only content, but has become synonymous with it—have racked up subscribers by promising images of the Venus of Willendorf. Until now.
A group of museums in Vienna have banded together to create an OnlyFans account where, for $5 per month, subscribers can view works of fine art including the aforementioned sculpture (a nude female figure made of limestone and dating back to circa 25,000 BCE), paintings by the expressionists Egon Schiele and Richard Gerstl, work by graphic artist Koloman Moser, the Italian painter and sculptor Amedeo Modigliani, and more. The initiative is a response to guidelines on other, more mainstream social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok, that keep the museums from sharing images with nudity there.
“Vienna and its art institutions are among the casualties of this new wave of prudishness—with nude statues and famous artworks blacklisted under social media guidelines, and repeat offenders even finding their accounts temporarily suspended,” reads an announcement from the Vienna Tourist Board about the project. Helena Hartlauer, a spokesperson for the organization, expanded on this in an interview with Vice. “Part of what makes this problematic is that there are no clear guidelines on these platforms, nor rhyme or reason, in regards to what nudity is considered ‘offensive’ and what nudity is not,” she said. “We’ve had 3,000-year-old works of art be censored. Clearly, there is something wrong here.”
The museums participating include the Albertina, the Leopold Museum, Kunsthistorisches Museum (Vienna’s Art History Museum), and the Naturhistorisches (Natural History) Museum. At present, those who subscribe to the OnlyFans account can get 40% off the price and either a free Vienna City Card, which includes a variety of benefits such as free public transport for up to 72 hours, or free admission to one of the museums.
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Obviously the Austrian capital is making a huge statement by doing this, and it may not have happened without the support of previous OnlyFans creators and subscribers. In August of this year, the platform announced a plan to ban explicit content, citing the fact that many banks did not want to work with the company, making it difficult to do business. A large amount of backlash ensued, so much so that OnlyFans walked back the plans and decided to continue as a haven for NSFW content and highbrow nudes alike.