Graham Ovenden’s Official Website: Now that the hype about the Ovenden case has receded somewhat, the artist felt it was time to show that he has not simply retreated into the background. The lack of internet presence in the past turned out to be something of a blessing because it meant that the prosecution could not make a case for the trafficking of pornography over the internet. Even today, Ovenden rarely communicates by email and only to a small circle of friends and trusted associates. However, he has been keen on establishing his own website the past few years and perhaps a forum for telling his side of the story. A couple of weeks ago, the official website (designed by Rainbow Digital Media and the artist himself) was launched. Viewers will discover that, far from being idle the past few years, Ovenden has finished a number of very new paintings (landscapes and portraits) and digital graphics projects. Also present is a sample of his photography (both documentary and model studies), architecture and literature (largely inspired by his recent experiences with the legal system). There is also a page for an Afterword which will offer updates about the latest legal actions, issues and comments by the artist when such information will not compromise his position on pending countersuits. Because of all the negative press, there will be no comments section or a place to send a message to the artist. Instead, Pigtails in Paint has been asked to serve in a public relations capacity and help field inquiries and orders for Garage Press materials (more on this later). In other words, the target audience for this new site are museums, libraries and serious collectors. Take a look!
More on Balthus: In the hype about the recent exhibition of the Balthus paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, there is often the assumption that the only issue is what voyeurs should legally be able to get away with. Often overlooked, is the experiences of the model and why such girls might be interested in participating in the work. Lauren Elkin wrote an interesting piece that offers a rare perspective. I think the author does needlessly equivocate but it is important, particularly for male readers, to understand the young girl’s attitude and motivations.
The Happiest Two Kids on Earth: Pip shared an interesting item: video footage of a special tour Walt Disney gave two children (a boy and a girl) of Disneyland just before its grand opening in 1955. The interesting thing is how much more attention Disney seems to have given the little girl. If memory serves, Disney himself had two daughters so perhaps these interactions were simply more natural for him.
Thought Police? On a peripheral subject, a man serving time for the possession and distribution of child pornography had his term extended when sexually-explicit images and stories produced by the prisoner were found by authorities. The circumstances of this case does offer some fodder for debate about the limits of personal thought.