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Added Oct 31 2012

I went to Real Tenochtitlan this weekend and noticed that all of the murals of Aztec women have been painted to cover up exposed breasts. I asked the employees about it and they said that someone complained to the city about pornographic images and the city made them cover up because they are a family restaurant.

Who do people think they are? The murals are art. If you find it offensive, dont take your children there. What will be next; will the city require the Art Institute to cover all their nudes? The museum is supposed to be a family destination too. Why would they be exempt from this ruling?

I don't understand how people are OK with violence portrayed everywhere out in public but art displaying the natural body inside an establishment is offensive enough to request the city to intervene.

  • Are you kidding me? That's Spanish Conquest Art! And Aztec women at that, we should celebrate it, not hide it. And then people wonder why Americans get such a bad name for being so ignorant and uninformed. Well... it's society that sets it up that way and everyone else abiding by it.

    I'm so happy you brought this up, if body image wasn't so taboo in the first place and there was a more comfortable arena and open-mindedness about this, many, many, things would be avoided. I'm sorry to hear about this. Sigh, I wish everyone appreciated art and culture as you do!

    Porn at Tenochtitlan, really?

  • This is the dumbest thing I've heard in...like the last week or so. But then, it's election season. A few months earlier it'd be at least the dumbest thing of the month.

  • Wow. This is lamest thing I've heard in a long while. I can't believe they are covering up native art.

    Thanks for posting this. Did they know if it was one person who complained or a misguided group?

  • Not surprising. Our friend has a young son who regularly plays very violent video games with him. But the son is forbidden to even see a nipple. My husband and I thought that it was very strange.

  • This is just so sad and disappointing to hear. Imagine being the artist, who put so much time, effort, thought etc into the amazing murals inside there - just to be covered up, to be censored. Art is an expression, it should not be censored. Shame on those who complained. Logan Square is an up and coming neighborhood filled with artists, I'm honestly very disappointed about this.

  • Carter O'Brien Diversey to Belmont lifer

    And gentrification rears its ugly head. How frikkin lame.

  • ch1cag0rob 15-year Logan Squarite, in JP since June 2015

    Wild. I've long been torn about this, as my fiancee thought they were strange but amusing. From what I know of that era of historic Mexico, there was reason to believe that their notion of women's breasts didn't jive with our "modern," Puritan-originated sensibilities. That's a shame.

    I wonder if the one in the men's room is covered up too.

  • I know of some exposed breasts... In the Art Institute. *eyeroll* And I wonder who's paying for this. Clearly it's the small-business owner. Would love to know who brought this up. I would drive by slowly with breasts exposed (if I had breasts).

    Moral of the story: If you don't like it, don't go there.

  • tadow jones some guy

    meanwhile, people are spraypainting dicks on the monument and the city doesn't clean it up! i like that restaurant largely because of the art. i too would like to know who's behind this total lameness.

  • Infuriating.

    I hope that this was a group of people complaining, rather than one sad, pathetic sexually repressed loser being able to force something like this. Although, I would probably be even more upset to know that a group of these people exist, much less one.

    I could SOMEWHAT understand if this was a window display of some kind. Then these losers wouldn't be able to avoid looking at it walking down the street. Makes sense. This stuff is on the walls INSIDE! You have to go IN to be offended. So the fact that someone pushed this means that not only have they dined there before, they plan on going back...

    It's really too bad that the city bends so easily on something like this. If I were across the desk from that complaintant, I would laugh them out of my office...and hopefully out of the city altogether.

  • B sighthound, Avondale/LoganS 3years, Beat 2524

    Is there a separate business license for "family" vs "non-family" restaurants in Chicago?
    I don't think so.
    Maybe the city will get the Hooters girls in some loose fitting slacks next, because camel toe can be offensive.

  • Has anyone confirmed that the city actually made them cover them up? Which city department took responsibility for this - the nipple patrol? I've never heard of anything like that happening, and that includes store window displays.

  • NinnyMuggins your neighbor

    Those murals where all that brought me to Ree-Al Technocktickland. I went in there once and ordered a burrito and they said they didn't have burritos, so I ogled the wall for a few half-hours and left.

  • YAY Chicago! The northern beltway of oklahoma. I've NEVER seen chicago as a progressive city and it never will be.

  • NinnyMuggins your neighbor

    I just spoke with a waitress. She said the complainers said the murals planted unreal expectations in the minds of our young females regarding 'symetrical breasts' and 'areolas less than 5 inches in diameter.' I was unable to gauge whether or not she agreed as she was wearing a thick sweater.

  • rob in Logan Square 16 years in the neighborhood

    I would have guessed John Ashcroft ate there... but he's dead. That is ridiculous.

  • ch1cag0rob 15-year Logan Squarite, in JP since June 2015

    LOL. My fiancee is pregnant, and she said they do get larger as that happens, buuuut, so does a woman's belly. And those murals were clearly not of pregnant ladies.

  • Carter O'Brien Diversey to Belmont lifer

    "Which city department took responsibility for this - the nipple patrol?"

    Don't give them any ideas!

  • K L D Logan Square resident

    Don your comment cracks me up! I agree....if you don't like something, just don't go there.

  • NinnyMuggins: For real?

  • NinnyMuggins your neighbor

    Yep, she offered to measure the nipples with a ruler so I would understand.

  • Anna Mayer Huls Logan Square resident & Realtor

    Completely ridiculous. You should bring it up to one of the local news stations so they can do an "expose".

  • Anna Mayer Huls Logan Square resident & Realtor

    I also emailed Rey Colon - I wonder if he knows about it.

  • Anna: Great idea!!!

  • Alex M. Jeff Park, web design, DJ, thinker

    Frankly, the venue owner should have made the call.

    Can the city really force them to cover it?

  • Rocky Resident of Humboldt Park

    Wow!!! This is breast taking I mean breath taking. I can't believe this actually took place. Coming from the city that had a statue of Marilyn Monroe in the center of downtown showing off her 'Pantis' (Spanish). Lol

    C'mon!!!! I have to agree that art is art & if this type of art offended anyone, I truly hope they don't go to Hamburger Mary's on the north side. Lol

  • B sighthound, Avondale/LoganS 3years, Beat 2524

    Where is Bike Jedi? He always has great input on art.

  • I'm pretty sure if you say Bike Jedi's name three times, he appears.

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    Right here .hahahahaha...Well we can see it isnt street art ...Wait a minute we cant even see it . Do gooders gone wild dammit

  • Felix Rivera Long time resident, father of three

    Truth be told, once the owner was told of the complaint, he/she should have called a lawyer. Brandon is correct if you can go to the Art Museum and see art depicting nude images and it's "there" in all its glory for everyone to see then the restaurant owner should not have a problem simply because it is a public display. This I assume cause I'm no student of laws. Then again people should recognize that every "goings on" in the city is not an invitation for a crusade.

  • ch1cag0rob 15-year Logan Squarite, in JP since June 2015

    It's not really a legal issue (unless someone sues). It's a headache issue. It's about people complaining and possibly even dealing with protesters. I'm not in favor of whoever protested, but public opinion often forces people to remove things some people find objectionable.

  • Unbelievable. It is Art and historical in nature. Is there something wrong with what is the real reality? . Love the Bike Jedi chant and it worked!!

  • Perhaps they could have compromised and made the offending nipples more in concert with societal norms. Maybe in the 2 to 2.75 inch region? And perhaps one breast could be larger than the depending upon the left- or right-handedness of the model. Talk about a bad case of nipple envy.

  • Just plain lame

  • Well whoever complained should have a great time with the bondage murals at Kuma's, or how about that nude female sculpture in front of the Palette and Chisel (but then again maybe the nipple police give the gold coast a pass)

  • Doug vanderHoof Neighbor in GGNA, video producer

    The CITY made them cover it up?!?
    Shame on the City!
    Who's got solid facts on this?
    And before someone says it, yes, we have more important things to worry about, but I don't want to have to worry about this kind of action from government.

  • I really liked those murals! I've been there many times with my five year old daughter, we've talked about liking the murals and she's never even mentioned the breasts because she is already aware that women have breasts, no big deal. I feel sorry for the complainers children, if they have any, they are surely going to grow up to be adults that are self-conscious and ashamed of the size of their areolas because they've never seen any depiction- big, small, symmetrical, asymmetrical, etc. of any areolas. And on top of that they'll be the ones tempted into furtive, unhealthy sexual acts they wouldn't do otherwise just to find out what's happening under other people's clothes! When will people realize knowlege is power, not ignorance. You know the children that get sexually abused are almost never the ones that know the proper words for their body parts such as penis, vagina, breasts, and even areola. This is because they know when they are being manipulated and do not fear punishment for non-compliance because they are able to speak openly and maturely about their bodies. Art is not just for the pleasure of our eyes- it is education. I wish people would think twice before imposing their repressed, harmful opinions on the rest of us.

  • Barbs hey you kids, get off my lawn!

    I'm confused by Carter's comment. What's "gentrification" got to do with it?
    Sounds like it was something else, altogether. And, really stupid, to boot...

  • Maz ethnic/cabaret accordionist, bungalow owner

    This is ludicrous. I think a good response would be for people to complain right back to the city about bowdlerizing Chicago art. At least twice as many than have complained about bare nips being shown. Since more wheels would have squeeked on the side of art, will the city then force the restaurant to restore the original paintings?

    As if. Government usually errs on the side of P.C., even when common sense is nonexistent.

  • Shawn Smith Currently Avondale, previously Logan Square

    While I was initially surprised to see the topless murals in the restaurant walking by, it's obviously done in a tasteful manner as part of a wall mural. To cover it up is simply ridiculous. People need to grow up, and stop associating nudity with sex.

  • Doug vanderHoof Neighbor in GGNA, video producer

    Yep, Maz and Lisa, ludicrous AND ridiculous. I wish I had italics for how wrong it is.

  • Dr Ray in Logan Square Chiropractor Extrordinere

    Of course it's ridiculous, but a business depends on it's customers, and if as a business they want to succeed, it's wise they give in to the demands of their patrons, provincial as they may be.

  • Doug vanderHoof Neighbor in GGNA, video producer

    Shawn,
    I'm with you part way, but I have maybe a more extreme take: Even if it were tasteless, the government shouldn't be interfering.
    (And, as a purely conversational side note, disconnecting nudity and sex is probably not going to happen to any important degree in a society that wears clothes. The clothes are partly to *preserve* the association of nudity and sex. That's my obses...I mean, educated guess.)

  • Doug vanderHoof Neighbor in GGNA, video producer

    Dr. Ray,
    I think the great majority of their customers were cool with it. Though probably almost no one will stop going after the coverup. So in a pure numbers game, they're ahead. They'll get that one bluestocking back. Sigh.

  • Carter O'Brien Diversey to Belmont lifer

    Barbs, Real Tenochtitlan has been there for years. Logan Square & that stretch of Milwaukee in just the past few years started getting a lot more press from the usual suspects about "turning a corner" and so forth, which is code speak for gentrification.

    I could be wrong, and it was some crusty neighborhood old timer who complained, but I highly doubt it.

    I don't believe it is right when people move into neighborhoods and expect the neighborhood's social fabric and institutions to change overnight to suit them. It happened in Lincoln Park, it happened in Lake View, it happened in Wicker Park and in Bucktown. Enough is enough.

    Don't like a private business showcasing murals with breasts? Don't go there. Don't like loud noise and nightlife? Don't move across from a music venue or busy restaurant, etc.

    (not directed at you specifically, btw)

  • Jennifer Bridgeport to Bucktown and some places in between

    Well I hope that whoever complained never buys their precious snowflake a Barbie doll or a fashion magazine or lets them watch any show with a female on it that's not a size zero. Because - you know - unrealistic expectations might squelch their spirit.

  • I think blaming this on gentrification is a bit of a stretch. Unless there's a correlation that I'm not aware of between wealthy people and uptight people. Seems pretty broad.

    Not that I don't agree wholeheartedly with your points on gentrification, Carter. It just seems to me that this case doesn't have anything to do with that. This complainer could have been anyone.

  • Inactive user

    I blame it on parents who treat natural bodies as though they will inspire their 6-year-olds into being sexually active adults.

    Give it a rest, over-protective, always-complaining parents.

    (partial tongue-in-cheek)

  • Joan M. Back in Lincoln Square and liking it.

    Something doesn't sound quite right about this story.

    I'm not doubting that Brandon was told what he has reported being told. Still....this sounds like an action which the owner took upon himself to do. But then I'm just adding to the speculation. It'd be nice to hear from the owner. Or a representative of the City.

    Anybody remember the time some City Council members barged into the School of the Art Institute and removed a student painting of Harold Washington of which they didn't approve? The artist later sued the aldermen and ultimately, the City refused to pay for their legal defense.

  • Rocky Resident of Humboldt Park

    So is there a way to just take all these reviews & fwd them to the Alderman's office? I agree & know there are other important issues but I would be interested to know if it only took one person to cover up the breastessess or if there was a petition going around. Definitely agree that in these cases our dear government needs to step aside & not get involved.

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    Well 'Im happy to see so many of my progressive neighbors being against this form of Govt intrusion and sticking up for the arts . Gina mentioned Kuma's and their... um er art . Me like art . Me like Kuma's art .Me like that art a lot . Me getting exited thinking about great art and culure . I think Mike at Kuma's wont care too much about that type of pressure and wont take his art down unless directed to do so . Here's to raising a nice wheat beer in the hopes that doesn't happen . With all the people reading 50 shades maybe it wont happen . I think whoever complained about " Real "was way overeacting .

  • Bludog 22 years in LS

    The most shocking thing about this post is that someone actually WENT IN Real Tenochtitlan. I never see anyone in there - can't figure out how the place survives. We did buy an "instant" Groupon there for dinner one night - one of the ones that has to be used on that day at that time - walked all the way over there, and they were closed for a private event. Why did they offer the Groupon for that night?! Never bothered to try it again. How is that place?

  • Inactive user

    That's so weird, Bludog, I never see it empty! When do you go by it? I pass it on the way to the Whistler all the time -- I'd guess 8 or 9pm -- and there are always at least 5 tables full.

  • Dang it...beautiful murals..bodies are beautiful.. Boobs are beautiful.. People suck..

  • Rocky Resident of Humboldt Park

    @JSid well said :)

  • Ha! Well everyone else responded exactly the same way I was going to so I decided against repeating

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    I have nothing to add other then I like art ...but I do read Playboy for the articles

  • Rocky Resident of Humboldt Park

    That's hilarious BJedi. I actually buy it for the art :)

  • Ha ha Bike Jedi, that's the same line I heard years ago

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    Have you read their book reviews ? . Now you know what Im talking about right . Great Mens articles also . MAXIM is cool too but just like real they cover up their art . That's censorship dammit .

  • Jerry Cargill Photographer, Teacher, Live on Milwaukee Ave.

    Don't let those "offended" customers near the Art Institute...or the Vatican.

  • cortman NW IN raised / Chicago res since '03

    We were there Saturday and they didn't seem to be altered. The large painting to the right when you walk in, is still showing in all 'er glory. I couldn't really tell if the one on the left was covered up or not. They seemed to still be showing, but I didn't get up close. And the warrior in the back was the same, with a top partially covering.

  • LD

    i would LOVE to know who complained............if I knew, I'd see naked, anatomically correct snowpeople in their yard in the near future ;).

    viva la (.)(.)!!!!!

  • Bike Jedi Bike Jedi . I live to bike . Born in the Square.

    Lets find out and build Snowmen and SnowGirls

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