Not all artists are created equal – Graham Ovenden convicted

Graham Ovenden (from the Daily Mail)

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.

2 thoughts on “Not all artists are created equal – Graham Ovenden convicted

  1. There is a lot more to this story than the Tate (or the mainstream press) realised, as published on, starting with the fact that Ovenden was acquitted of the serious sex charges (blindfolding and molesting/photographing his models). In addition, Ovenden was convicted of 3 photos and 2 “specimen” charges related to those same photos of 2 models, who, in their 20s, attested quite candidly and favorably about their images. (Both of them also testified at trial that Ovenden never abused them in any way.) Their prior statements about the images are published on the blog.

    I would think that you would be interested to read what women in their 20s said about their experience of being photographed by Ovenden.

    • I agree, the press (as I mention in the post) could not agree on a single detail! this made my research very difficult. I wish your blog had come up in my research searching (I spent two to three days researching this post trying to get definitive details). however, looking to his work alone I believe that some is highly sexualised and I consider that a cause for concern. I am interested to follow the rest of this story, nothing seems to have happened at my last search anyway! it’s not an easy case, but it shouldn’t be. I don’t believe there were issues with all models and I don’t believe all his work was sexualised. I do believe that it is right to remove work that features the models involved in the case, but not to remove non sexual images. removing ones owned by notorious paedophiles may be a good idea.

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