Society Magazine

Art And/or the Artist

Posted on the 04 April 2013 by Davidduff

Here's a nice moral conundrun for you all to ponder upon.  According to the BBC (and just about every red-top newspaper in the land) some beardie-weirdie artist and photographer by the name of Graham Ovenden has just been convicted of sex offences against children. 


Graham Ovenden Pic: PA


For what it's worth, these offences took place 30 or 40 years ago.  He has enjoyed a fairly distinguished reputation in the art world - again, for what that's worth!  He was noted for decades as specialising in pictures of young girls, often in a state of undress or sometimes naked - yeees, quite!  This brought down on his bearded head several court actions, not just here but everywhere including the USA - natch! - where they were shocked, I tell you, shocked!  You can read his Wiki entry for all the details which I couldn't be bothered to plow through.  As far as I can see the authorities have had several goes at him and his work but nothing stuck - until now.  I have had a quick look at some of his work and judged by that alone I would say that he is a good-ish artist but a man fixated on the bodies of young girls.  Even so, throughout these decades of accusations and innuendoes, the 'Illuminati' of the High Art World have not just stood by him but rushed to praise him.

Today, the Tate, a gallery noted for displaying crap art at every chance they get, have swiftly withdrawn Ovenden's pictures - and here we come to the point of this tedious post.  If a blackguard paints a brilliant picture does it matter what the crimes and sins were of its progenitor?  Are we to be forbidden from seeing any art produced by villains?  And who decides who is a villain?  If Ovenden is in fact guilty of sexually abusing children then his balls should go on display at the Tate Modern which might, on consideration, improve the standard of that benighted rubbish tip on the South Bank.  But if Ovenden has produced some great, or even interesting, works of art then I think I am entitled to see them if I wish to do so - particularly as it's my money that keeps most of these nationalised art galleries going.

Jest askin'! 

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