Maiden Voyages: August 2018

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.

4 thoughts on “Maiden Voyages: August 2018

  1. Concerning your last topic, I mention that a man in the UK was convicted for importing from Hong Kong a “child sex doll” (maybe a Trottla doll): https://www.crewechronicle.co.uk/news/crewe-south-cheshire-news/paedophile-who-imported-child-sex-13229064
    So it is not only real sexual acts with children that are constituted as a crime, but also any visible representation of it, even without real children involved.
    On another blog, a commentator compared that to the ban on any visual representation of God or of prophets in Sunni Islam, the sexual innocence of children must be sacred as a divinity.

    • Are you suggesting that sexual innocence of children should not be sacred? Do you think child sex dolls should be legal?
      It should be noted this man also possessed indecent images.

      • To me, the “sexual innocence” of children is not sacred, I simply do not believe in it. The meaning of childhood is its own negation. Children must grow into adulthood, by learning progressively all adult matters through theory and practice.
        To me, the law should deal with real harm to real people or to the general population (as pollution of the environment or tax fraud). What a man does with his own personal property in the privacy of his home should not be the concern of the law.

      • Although I thank Christian for his contribution and he is a staff member here, it should be pointed out that he does not express the official position of Pigtails in Paint by his comment. If we are to get anywhere on this subject, it should at least be understood that it is not a cut-and-dry matter. Although technically the creation and use of sex dolls is not directly harming an actual child, there are heavy psychological effects that must be respected. Not the least among these is what this says about the attitude toward children, the psychological and social temperament of people who make regular use of such dolls and how adolescent children view their society that accepts them. It is all to easy for political purists to object to any form of thought policing and state that the products of our thoughts should, on principle, be legal. The truth is that our thoughts affect how we interact with others and shapes the character of society and should be taken into account when considering the governing of people. That may seem a strange thing for someone with strong ‘freedom of speech’ credentials to say, but we should not allow principles to make us inflexible. On the other hand, if we accept that a government should have some responsibility for the way its citizens think, there is always the problem of enforcement. What reliable evidence is there in the real world that someone is right-thinking without creating an injustice? These intractable problems are what make it impossible for me to accept or reject straightforward social propositions out-of-hand. Pigtails is by no means a forum to tackle these subjects in detail, it is simply important to bring forward things that provoke thoughtful debate and nudge us ever so slightly in a healthy direction. -Ron

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