In 2014 Gow Langsford Gallery exhibited a series of portraits by New York-based New Zealander Jono Rotman. The large format photographs of patched members of the Mongrel Mob were the subject of intense public debate. The Gallery received a range of feedback – from letters of support to hate mail.
Much of the debate was centred around the inclusion of one subject who, at the time of the exhibition, was before the courts on a murder charge. During the exhibition the Gallery arranged for the family of his victim to meet with the photographer who, through their meetings, came to a point of mutual understanding. The Gallery regrets the pain it caused those close to this subject’s victims but stands by our decision not to remove this work from the exhibition. We maintain that the role of the Gallery is not to censor art in this manner. Further information on the exhibited works is available upon request.
Gow Langsford Gallery supports City Gallery Wellington’s 2015 exhibition of this series and encourages people to view the show to experience the works for themselves.