Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Art And Pornography

The Tate has retired its Ovendens. It has taken the images off-line and made the originals unavailable to researchers. I'm not really surprised. In the circumstances I'm not sure what else it could have done.

All the same, there's something odd about punishing a work of art for the sins of its maker. While Ovenden was merely under suspicion but technically innocent his pictures were displayed for all to see. As soon as he was found guilty they were taken down and hidden.  They became wicked overnight. One day they were artistically justifiable images of childhood innocence- or whatever the critics said they were; the next day they were porn.

Type "Brotherhood of Ruralists" into Google and see what comes up. There are Ovendens in the mix but the iffiest image on the page- a very young fairy with her kecks off- isn't by Ovenden at all but by his brother Ruralist (and teacher) Peter Blake. Only Blake isn't a paedophile so the picture is entirely blameless, right?
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