Not all artists are concerned with the pursuit of art. not all artists toil away nobly trying to get the world to see the beauty around them. some artists are in it for the money, or for the fame or sometimes, thankfully rarely, for the nekkid people. and some artists are just scumbags.
“one of the world’s greatest painters” (self proclaimed) has fallen from his lofty perch. Graham Ovenden has faced legal prosecution on a number of occasions but has now been convicted of six charges of indecency with a child and one of indecent assault. The different news stories on this subject are very disparate. in my research I’ve seen everything from vitriol against the art world to Victim blaming. it’s hard to separate the facts from the spin in this case but we do know that the victims were former models from between 1972 and 1985. Some articles are questioning their taking time to come forward which is reprehensible. it takes courage to come forward about abuse, it can take a very long time to come to the point where abuse can be admitted. I applaud them for confronting their abuser (who was not there for the conviction). he was also accused of having child pornographic images on his computer, images he accused the police of falsifying.
Much of Ovenden’s work from the time was inspired by the controversial novel Lolita. Some contain titles like “Lolita Seductive” or “Maxwell’s Angel Whores”. His work has also been found in the collections of noted paedophiles. The Tate gallery has removed his images from their walls and website following the jury’s verdict. His partially clad photographs in particular are incredibly hard to view.
Ovenden has yet to be sentenced.