Just because it’s a Nude doesn’t mean it’s Porn

Another of the Nude Teen Pictures under debate by Bill Henson
Another of the Nude Teen Pictures under debate by Bill Henson.
Picture by the Daily Telegraph

And just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s not art.

the key debate in the Bill Henson controversy is whether these images are pornographic. the case hinges on the phrase “depicted a child under the age of 16 years in a sexual context.” The murky area is the sexual context. as I have previously postulated, anything can be seen in a sexual light. there are some strange, strange people out there, but that I don’t think that these pieces are sexual in any way. This debate seems to have come right down to my favorite topic of nudes and sex.

Pornography is designed to be titillating, arousing, erotic. it is created with an end in mind, and that end is sexual gratification. Nude art is sometimes created for that purpose, but more often than not it is about other things. the nudity can be a symbol for freedom, youth, purity, innocence, fear, starkness, vulnerability, openness, hatred, vilification, aloneness, atonement.. I could go on and on. it is a choice and a powerful artistic subject conveying so much meaning and depth. it is a subject with a glorious history and a perennial favorite of artists everywhere.

There are those out there who are insisting that because it’s a nude, it’s sexual and because it’s sexual, it’s pornographic and therefore illegal. I want to know – why do these people see it as sexual? what is it about these pictures that is titillating? tell me please! am I missing something? because when I look at these pieces I see a nude child looking confused, lost and forlorn.

9 thoughts on “Just because it’s a Nude doesn’t mean it’s Porn

  1. I just realised … Jennie, your works are PORNOGRAPHIC! I have pornography hanging on my lounge room walls! Good lord, last night in the shower I was putting on a real pornographic show (naked AND water!)

  2. Good god, Jennie — did you have to show me that girl’s bare torso? I’ll probably become a pedophile now or — worse — a politician.

    More seriously, Henson’s got some beautiful nudes there. Very poignant. Not sexual at all, in my humble opinion.

  3. I have found one of his pictures, and it seems to be that the picture is all about lighting, posture and so on. That is to say, it’s art.

  4. “Titallating, sexual, erotic”. Doesn’t that pretty much cover most prime-time TV shows, soap operas, commercials, magazine ads, etc? I mean, Brittany Spears? Madonna? Aerosmith? Jeez, Elvis?

    But a picture of a sad little girl? Nah, sorry. – Steve

  5. HI:

    I’m from the United States and most of us have a difficult time seperating the difference between nudity and porn, BUT it depends on how the picture is composed, is the subject in a natural pose and scene. I think you should be able to see where I’m coming from.

  6. Pingback: Rudd thinks Children should be neither seen nor heard | Jennie's Palette

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