Maiden Voyages: December 2015

(Last Updated On: January 22, 2016)

A Growing Chorus: I have been pleased to see new authors come forward with new ideas.  Despite whatever first impressions a visitor might have, this site is in fact about the portrayal of little girls in the arts and media.  That is a very broad mandate and it should be understood that we try not to favor one particular art form over another nor are we exclusively about child nudity.  I want to thank Dimitri, Moko and Journey Darkmoon for their recent contributions.  Tomorrow, a post on a young Lolicon artist is being published.  I like the idea of encouraging new talent.  Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t, but I don’t want it said that Pigtails in Paint did not give an artist or writer his or her chance.

See Alice for Yourself: The British Library has informed us that in addition to owning the original manuscript to Alice’s Adventures Under Ground by Lewis Carroll since 1948, it is now in digitized form and can be viewed online by members of the public in its entirety. This was the precursor to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland mentioned in the post ‘Alice: A Personal View’.

Appeal Accepted: I have been informed that Graham Ovenden’s appeal to have his material reevaluated has been accepted by the British courts.  There is no date set, but professional legal counsel will be at Ovenden’s disposal to assist this time.  The Metropolitan Police has still not returned the artwork and materials ordered by Judge Roscoe.

Relearning Aesthetics: One of our contributors, Susan Adler, has recently been concerned about the lack of education regarding the classic symbolic function of youth in artistic imagery.  She wants to reintroduce people to this uplifting pre-modern aesthetic and make an argument for its continued relevance in current and future art forms.  You can take of a look at her early efforts here.

Alphonse Mucha Page: We were contacted by Artsy about a new artist page dedicated to Alphonse Mucha.  It provides visitors with Mucha’s biography, over 25 of his works, exclusive articles and up-to-date Mucha exhibition listings. It also includes the requisite related artist and category tags and links to other contemporary artists.  Artsy’s stated mission is to make the world’s art accessible online.  You can view Pigtails’ post on Mucha here.

Stigma: When we published a post on Scott Affleck, he was making a go at establishing his own gallery in the U.S.  Despite a skilled presentation of the young girl as a mythic symbol, buyers mostly wanted paintings featuring mundane themes—not much of a challenge for a serious artist.  In response, Affleck is attempting to reach out to a more sophisticated European audience.  To add insult to injury, a recent article in the March-April 2015 issue of Radius Magazine discusses some of his award-winning art.  However, even though the article mentions the significance of his painting Progression, they did not include a picture.  It seems art magazines are reluctant to present images of the child nude, even if it is relevant to the subject at hand and is legitimate art.

Empowerment and Damage Control: It is interesting that from time to time a company’s product should receive some flak from concerned citizens.  Often it is about pollution or treatment of workers, but sometimes it is about the image of the product itself.  This is certainly the case with Barbie.  Mattel has recently launched an advertising campaign to make Barbie an expression of empowerment for girls.  A video which appears on YouTube, has the requisite charm and plays at the empowerment of little girls, but not too much as to threaten the adults.

A Quick Anatomy Lesson Revisited: I was pleased to get some artist details on an unidentified sculpture of a girl holding two dachshunds from one of our readers.  For those who are interested, the revised post can be seen here.

5 thoughts on “Maiden Voyages: December 2015

  1. I want to thank you here, Ron. The link to my art blog really helped.

    I use a lot of art jargon on the Jungendblog because I know it’s necessary to be taken seriously by the art world. So I thought I’d comment on the MV to clarify things a bit. I noticed years ago I was finding lot of work of nude adolescents from the period of 1890 till 1920 on the web. But when I would look in art history books I could not find any of the work. I could only find the figurative work in books that focused on Symbolism or a certain artist. What I did find in the books that covered the early 20th century was only modern art like Cubism but I would not be surprised if in reality the figurative artists outnumbered the Cubists 5 to 1. Just look at the Armory photos, most of the stuff is more like Bouguereau than Mondrian.

    Even the modern artists are misrepresented; Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Erich Heckel did a lot of paintings of young girls but you will not see the girls in books like Art of the Western World. In one book, a portrait of Fränzi Fehrmann who was about 10 was called a woman.

    Another problem is, if a living artist does artwork of nude adolescents today, the artist will likely seen by many as a pervert, due to an ignorance of art history which has been misrepresented on purpose.

    In the 1950’s , the CIA formed the Congress for Cultural Freedom as a front to promote modern art. Considering the CIA’s promotion of modernism we should be skeptical of the account given in the art history books. I don’t want to be misunderstood as being anti-modern, there are a lot of modern artists I like; I’m working on a post on Picasso for Pigtails that will clarify things more.

  2. About the Ovenden matter:
    This IS good news, but what about the anarchical situation that seems to exist in Britain? Apparently the police can simply IGNORE a judge’s order that Ovenden’s property must be returned!

    • One way or the other, the Metro Police are going to be embarrassed. There are many possibilities for why they keep delaying, but it seems likely one of the major ones is they lost or destroyed some of the materials already and are trying to cover up the error. There are dire consequences if they do not comply including heavy compensation for the lost items. We are talking hundreds of thousands of pounds folks! With legal representation though, Ovenden will have the means to get them to comply or admit their error. It will also be interesting how the Met’s PR department will spin this…well, now that I think of it, probably not!

      • I thoroughly agree with you, Ron, about the possible/probable “losing” of material. But if you think they won’t fight any case brought against them for such loss, then you are mistaken, I fear. Also, what is a small matter (for them!) of paying out “hundreds of thousands” of pounds?! Would they pay it to Graham……….no fear !
        When you are in the grip of an emotionally-sustained ‘certitude’ that you have yourself largely created,anything is permissible to you to maintain your position. As much as the judge was prey to her own subjectivity (no matter how long pondered upon), so the police are.

        • I have no doubt The Met will fight. They would have to save face and maintain credibility in the public eye. It is nice to see that the courts in the UK are not yet beholden to law enforcement or they would never have accepted the appeal. The other fly in the ointment is the international interest and involvement. In the US, a case like this might be handled quietly with a gag order placed on the compensated party so that they would not have to publicly admit error. I don’t know if something like this is done in the UK. The other possibility is that the appeal will be a huge disaster for Ovenden and the art world, but there will be a big show of due process to legitimize the court’s decision.

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