Thursday, October 1, 2009

Naked Brooke Shields: Art or Child Pornography?

Photo by Garry Gross

An exhibition entitled "Spiritual America" by American artist Richard Prince was supposed to be displayed at Tate Modern, but Scotland Yard removed it, afraid that it would break obscenity laws. The object in question is the above picture, a naked 10-year-old Brooke Shields.

Garry Gross, a photographer from New York originally took the photo as part of a series entitled The Woman in the Child - a comparison of the adult woman in girls, or to show off the femininity in a young child. Gross was hired by Brooke Shields' mother to take pictures of her little girl (as a model), and even signed a contract giving him full rights to exploit the image.

Brooke Shields attempted legal actions to stop Gross from publicly displaying the photos but failed. However the multiple legal proceedings left Gross in financial burden and his reputation ruined. Richard Prince offered to buy the rights of the photos.

The photo was supposed to be a part of the Pop Life Exhibition in Tate Modern, but as stated previously, it was taken down by officials, afraid that the photo might be viewed sexually.

Honestly, whether it is art or not, I have to say I'm bit uncomfortable looking at the picture.