A lot of artists are cheeky trouble makers that delight in upsetting people that like their todays and tomorrows to be all the same. A lot of Australians are like that too; they make fun of people that are too serious and they seem to enjoy getting into trouble.
The front cover of Art Monthly in Australia this month shows a magazine editor poking a stick at the nest of a lot of noisy hornets. After the recent uproar over the Bill Henson teen photos in Australia, there’s only one reason to be publishing a cover with a naked young girl on it, which is to create controversy.
From the editorial of Art Monthly Australia..
“As Donald Brook argues, it should never be a question of art or pornography, but rather: ‘Should works of art enjoy a general indulgence, recognised in law, so that even culpably pornographic works of art like those on the walls of brothels in Pompeii may sometimes be tolerated?’ The past few weeks in Australia have certainly exposed just how timid and intolerant our society seems to have become, even while Henson is now free to show his work.”
The image is called “Olympia as Lewis Carroll’s Beatrice Hatch before White Cliffs” by Polixeni Papapetrou (the mother of the girl in the photo). Olympia Nelson was 6 years old when the photo was taken and is now 11 years old.
The Sydney Morning Herald did a report on the story (photo by Penny Stephens showing Olympia Nelson with her mother, father, brother and the nude picture)..
“THE girl at the centre of the latest controversy over child nudity in art said yesterday that she was “really, really offended” at comments by the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, that he “cannot stand” the naked image of her, aged six, on the cover of an art magazine.” SMH
Politicians are sharing their opinions on the magazine cover with the Australian opposition leader, Brendan Nelson saying “If you were sitting on a bus and the person next to you turned on their laptop and this was the screensaver, you would be very concerned. What these people have done in this publication and using the photographs of this child in this way is send a two-fingered salute to the rest of society.”