Aussie art in another 'nude minor' controversy

Mikey 12 comments
Aussie art in another 'nude minor' controversy

It hasn't been all that long since the last controversial art exhibition over here in Australia that depicted nude minors, and now an Australian art magazine is in hot water for a similar reason, this time for having a nude minor on the cover of their latest issue.

Not surprisingly our PM Kevin Rudd has labelled it "disgusting" and even less surprising the art community are infuriated at his comments. Said Rudd:

"We're talking about the innocence of little children here. A little child cannot answer for themselves about whether they wish to be depicted in this way"

I for one can't help but notice the short time length between the last nude minor controversy and this one, both of which while will spark heavy debate and alienate some people, will at the same time draw obscene amounts of exposure which typically translates into more sales.

Rudd says officials will be investigating the funding of the magazine, presumably to make sure his Government doesn't have any involvement and if it does, it wont any more.

Judge for yourself.

Art Monthly

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Wednesday 9th July 2008 | 10:22 AM

"I for one can't help but notice the short time length between the last nude minor controversy"

That's because this was done on purpose. The art community decided to "stick it to the man" by releasing this on the cover of their magazine. The guy who did this (Martyn Jolly), said he "had a duty to reignite the debate over children in art".


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Dan L.

Wednesday 9th July 2008 | 10:26 AM

Its tastefully done. I don't see the big deal with this photo. Your PM is over reacting.

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Wednesday 9th July 2008 | 10:35 AM

I can't even see where these damn prudes are coming from! There is nothing sexual about that image and if a person can sexualify (if thats a word) that image then there is a problem with them!

This could turn into a witch hunt that removes even more parental rights in terms of documenting their childrens lives through images and sharing them. That scares me! Hopefully this country can get a damn grip and regain some sense of normality.

And K.Rudd, if you even happen to read this! Stop running your damn mouth off and spend some time thinking about this topic!

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Wednesday 9th July 2008 | 10:56 AM

I don't see the need to create a market for such 'art'.

While this is 'tasteful', I find it very, very hard to refer to it as art.

I also say that it is clear they are capitalising on the media frenzy after the last 'scandle'.

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Wednesday 9th July 2008 | 11:09 AM

im just wondering when annie liebovitz is going to get shafted for her photography of children.. ?

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Wednesday 9th July 2008 | 11:16 AM

Mel, did you not see the controversy over the Miley Cyrus photos of hers?

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Wednesday 9th July 2008 | 11:22 AM response to this comment by Jake. I don't this as an attempt to make a market for such images, nor do I think a legitimate market for such images would exist.

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Wednesday 9th July 2008 | 11:32 AM

It is an innocent photo. Im not into arts to be able to comment on its artistic merits, but theres nothing indescent about it.

I think the fuss about it all is that some members of society, and Im talking about 0.1%, will probably get turned on by it, and thats whats causing the concern.

I remember when I was living in London and I was with a friend in a bookshop dedicated to photography. I came across a section of the book depicting naked children. My first reaction was that of shock/surprise and without wanting people to think I was a "pedo", I put the book back. My friend laughed and she said I was over reacting.

I think she may be right again.

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Wednesday 9th July 2008 | 04:11 PM

Poor Anne Geddes - will be out of a job if the prudes get their way. No more nappy ads either, or catalougues for kids underwear. Pedophiles don't need naked shots of children to get thier fix, they'll get it regardless. Its not the nudity that attracts them its children.

I am actually more angry about the little by play that happened after. The girl in the picture- now 11, spoke out and said she was fine with the whole thing and was offended by Kevin Rudds comments about her. He came back with this stupid statement- "If people want to make a political point in opposition to me, I don't think it's right they use underage children to make that point," So lets head back to children being seen but not heard? What a load of #%@&.

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Thursday 10th July 2008 | 03:08 PM response to this comment by Muzza. ahh,.. bugger, yep i do remember that, i had a goldfish moment

o look.. a castle..... *swim swim* o look.. a castle.....

laiste i can see where you are coming from, but this girl is 11 now.. and at the age of 6, i dont think she would have had a say in the images being taken of her. she also probably doesnt fully understand the whole context of what is going on, and is more than likely being a sockpuppet controlled by her mum.
yes everyone has the right to speak up and voice their, and be validated. but i feel this child is being 'guided' a tad by her mother

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Thursday 10th July 2008 | 10:04 PM

Wow seeing this photo, brings alot of questions to me as a parent.........would u let ur child run naked in front of the camera..... we'll yes BUT.... BUT Not posing in an adult way at the age of 6yrs old and posing for it to being published .....WOULD YOU??

WHat the hell is going on PPL's ...


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Concerned Art Professor

Tuesday 21st April 2009 | 01:55 PM

After reading all the comments here I started to have mixed feelings - not because Olympia Nelson (yes, that's her name) posed nude on the cover of a well-established art magazine - but because there is no direction to what is being discussed here.

If the topic is about art photography or digital art, period. Then, the cover of the art magazine edition (where Olympia is seen sitting) is done in good taste, period. Why? Because visual art caters to the visual senses. "Morality" is not (and shouldn't be) an issue.

If the topic is about morality, period. Then the answer is... well there is no definite answer, period. Why? Because morality is a manifestation of a people's culture. His culture's "morality" for example is different from her culture's "morality" etc. Because different cultures make their own unique norms and customs (laws).

If the topic is about pornography, period. This cover is definitely not porn, period. Why? Because porn is premeditated to arouse sexual desire. That is not the purpose of this cover (although it's true that the remaining 1% of the population might get "turned on", it's not the fault of the magazine).

I can already see that this discussion is going nowhere.

Personally, i would feel sorry for the young model because what to her is simply an artists' family art project becomes a worlwide catastrophe caused by, well, prudes. Prudes who don't understand what art is, who are blinded by their sense of morality, and who for all we know actually keep some pornography somewhere in their homes.

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