Sir Elton John's controversial photograph that was at the center of a child porn investigation has been deemed not to be indecent.
The legendary singer donated over 4,000 photos to an exhibition at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, in Gateshead, England, earlier this month.
But the gallery was rocked after a picture of two nude boys by famed photographer Nan Goldin was seized by police for possibly breaching pornography legislation.
However, the British Crown Prosecution Service has declared the image safe to be exhibited.
Head of the CPS Northumbria South Unit, Kerrie Bell, says, "In order to prove that the photograph is indecent, we must be satisfied that contemporary standards of propriety are so different now to what they were in 2001, that it is more likely than not that a court will conclude that the photograph is indecent.
"I am not satisfied that is the case.
"Accordingly, I am of the opinion that the evidence is insufficient to justify proceedings for offenses of possession or distribution of an indecent photograph."
To see the article, click here
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Viggo Mortensen: My painful decision to fight in the nude
Viggo Mortensen, the dashing Aragorn in 'Lord of the Rings', has filmed the most talked-about fight scene of the decade in his latest film, David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises. He tells Will Lawrence what it was like
While many of the actors and actresses on show at last month's Toronto Film Festival made the headlines courtesy of the clothes they wore, Viggo Mortensen caused a stir thanks to the clothes he didn't wear.
In his latest film, David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises, the 48-year-old Lord of the Rings star acts out a brutal, four-minute fight sequence in the confines of a steamy Turkish bath while entirely naked. During the bruising sequence, he's forced to show off his manhood in every conceivable sense.
"I'm just glad it was shot in two days and not six as it was initially written," he laughs. "Honestly, though, it took me all of about eight seconds to decide whether to do the scene naked."
"It was slippery, painful, embarrassing," says Mortensen. "You see what you see. I always knew the scene should be as realistic as the rest of the movie, so I couldn't feasibly keep the towel on.
Plus, we shouldn't be trying to hide things or pretty it up in any way. I knew at times it would be awkward and vulnerable. It would also be painful because I couldn't wear any pads to protect me. All I was wearing was a bunch of tattoos."
To read more about the tattoos and the entire article, click here
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Curators Choice Awards (with day of month) for September 2007:
Stephen W. Nash (14), $50
Jean Marcellino (11), $25
Lucinda Luvaas (20), $15
Roger Cummiskey (25)
Haydee Torres (23)
Sima Schloss (29)
All Curators' Choice Awards winners also receive 10 complimentary Extended Listings.
"My Favorite N*de" Poll Results:
Hector Olvera (8)
Tony Lee (15)
Monique DRIF (28)
Tony Lee (16)
Walter Lynn Mosley (27)
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Deadline October 21. All visual artists are encouraged to submit art of the nude to the barebrush.com for selection by award-winning artist, Ronnie Cutler of New York and Massachusetts, for the November 2007 N*des-of-the-Month exhibition.
New York, NY – Oct. 4, 2007. barebrush.com announces today that award-winning artist, Ronnie Cutler, signature member of the American Watercolor Society, and member of the Salmagundi Club, and Pen and Brush, will select and curate the November 2007 N*des-of-the-Month virtual exhibition. The entry deadline for the November 2007 calendar is October 21. Art must be uploaded to barebrush.com on or before October 21 to be eligible for the November exhibition. Artists are strongly encouraged to upload their entries early and avoid being closed out due to overflow in the closing days of the contest.
About Ronnie Cutler and a unique vision within
Ronnie Cutler has been called the finest living artist in the Salmagundi Club (Gary T. Erbe, former president of Allied Artists of America). In addition to the Salmagundi Club, Ronnie is a signature member of the American Watercolor Society. She is also a member Pen and Brush. Her work is in public and private collections world-wide. Ronnie studied at the Art Students League in the 1950's and has spent a lifetime painting. "No one I know has a more original eye," says Ilene Skeen, barebrush founder and CEO.
"When I first met Ronnie some years ago, she was analyzing an members' exhibition on the walls of the Salmagundi Club, and around her, people were listening, hanging on every word. For each piece that caught her eye, Ronnie pointed out what was working and what was not. Her comments were insightful and cogent. She put into a few well-chosen words what her listeners had felt, but not known how to state. Smiles of surprise, recognition and agreement were all around, and she pulled no punches -- her assessments were undeniable and, to the artists in the audience, incredibly helpful."
Ronnie is known especially for her landscapes, which she paints from a vision within. She keeps a studio/gallery in the Berkshires, the inspiration of her art, and remains an active painter in her Greenwich Village studio as well.
"For November, barebrush has the honor of Ronnie Cutler as guest curator. This is in keeping with our policy to balance the curation process between the commercial connections which gallery owners and dealers provide, with the insight and sensitivities of a wider variety of art professionals whose opinions and judgements help inform the art collecting public," says Ms. Skeen.
When asked what she will be looking for in the artwork on barebrush, Ronnie thought a moment and answered firmly, "Consistency of the many components that make up good art -- design, color, depth, transitions." Then she continued, "But above all, I will be looking for art that you respond to, that demonstrates the uniqueness of the artist; the individuality that elicits a strong response."
To see the entire call for entries, click here
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
From Hogwarts to High School -- Young actors have something in common. Not what you'd expect
The Hamilton Spectator (thespec.com)
If the personal is political, bodies are certainly both, especially in the way they dress in public -- or in some cases, undress.
Proof comes from recent events surrounding two unconnected naked young people. Not Britney Spears but younger; and these two are almost as famous. First: Daniel Radcliffe, the lead in the Harry Potter movies.
Soon after the filming of the fifth movie, he appeared on a London stage in Peter Shaffer's Equus, beginning last winter. The play requires the male and female leads, both necessarily young, to appear naked for an extended scene.
The reaction from many Radcliffe fans was simple: By appearing naked in public, he had betrayed them. Never mind that most didn't see the Equus production and couldn't care less about the context of his nudity. They could not let go of their version of Radcliffe as a child. They wanted to believe that Radcliffe, now 18, is Harry Potter.
That's a problem in a culture of celebrity worship. Not only the character but the actor is confined to the impossible morality of a disembodied saint. Undoubtedly that appeals to many who are convinced they are inadequate themselves.
For the most part, Internet rants about Radcliffe stayed respectful. The insults were limited, although there was plenty of "How could you?"
Far from remorseful, Radcliffe is both continuing his Potter role and planning to appear in Equus in New York. Furthermore, about his profession, he notes: "If the script says smoke, I smoke. If the script says I have sex, then I have sex -- that's just what you do as an actor."
The case of Vanessa Hudgens, also 18, is quite different. On Sept. 6, the star of Disney's High School Musical movies found a fully nude snapshot of herself leaked to the Internet.
The official reactions were swift. Yes, the photo is real; and the actress is sorry she let down her family, friends, and fans.
Although millions more have now seen Hudgens's nude body than Radcliffe's, that's not the main difference. Nor is it that Radcliffe's exposure was intended and Hudgens's not.
Surprisingly, some usually fearless websites took down the photo of the nude Hudgens only a day after posting it. The almost certain reason is that in the leaked photos, Hudgens is under 18. So was Radcliffe when he first appeared in Equus.
One myth with the strength of the double standard is that all naked minors in public are unlawful, and full-frontal photos of them are child pornography.
Despite being patently false legally, this notion has helped to induce children to fear if not despise their own bodies and emerging sexuality.
It also prepares them for an adult world of sexual discomfort and hypocrisy.
It's no secret that heterosexual men may be attracted to physical beauty, passive cuteness and superficial innocence. More than one author has shown that such traits may be cultural ideals for both women and children. So Disney itself has, perhaps unwittingly, made the child Hudgens sexually both chaste and enticing.
It's unsurprising, then, that while some people wanted to believe Hudgens the person was effectively asexual, others were labelling her "hot" long before the nude photo appeared. Her "sexy innocence" reveals a serious cultural crisis concerning perception of children and women with regard to sexuality.
Meanwhile, Hudgens could learn from Radcliffe. She could tell us she's not a movie fabrication but a person growing up with no apology for that nude photo. Sexuality apart, both these actors are also indicating something else despite Hudgens's and others' protestations: It's OK simply to be naked and unashamed -- even if you're under 18.
Paul Rapoport is a professor emeritus of McMaster University in Hamilton, a member of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, and editor of the magazine Going Natural.
To see the article on the web (and pictures of Radcliffe and Hudgens (not together), click here.You may have noticed that all that is missing from my title of this article is "u". Your opinion, comments welcome.