Controversial Nudes Displayed in Holland

April 4, 2011 § Leave a comment

Galerie ‘t Fotokabinet in Den Haag in South Holland held an exhibition called Controversial Nudes from October 19, 2008 to November 30, 2008.

One of the photos on display came from Will McBride’s book Show Me! A Picture Book of Sex for Children and Parents: a 13-year-old adolescent girl lies full-frontally nude sideways on the floor while a teenage boy with an exposed penis hovers above her. This is presented in black-and-white.

Another black-and-white photo was shot by Irina Ionesco in 1975 in her usual erotic style. It’s a seated portrait of her daughter Eva at the age of 8 or 9. Her largely exposed body confronts the viewer. Both of her little breasts are bared and her legs are open wide. Her pubic area is only partly obscured by an accessory so the sides of her pubic mound are visible.

Also exhibited were photos of topless young girls by Graham Ovenden and the vintage two-man team Lehnert & Landrock.

The main reason these photos are considered controversial is because of the subjects’ tender ages. In Ionesco’s case it’s also debated whether it was appropriate that she photographed her own daughter in suggestive ways, and Lehnert & Landrock are occasionally criticized for having made nude postcards of North African girls and women under the excuse of anthropological research.

The nudes of adults by Helmut Newton, Terry Richardson, Jan Saudek, and Nobuyoshi Araki are controversial for reasons that go beyond the scope of this blog.

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