Acrostics: A Double Collaboration

For a Renaissance Man, an acrostic is an irresistible pastime. It combines the qualities of a puzzle with poetry and so draws on one’s intellectual and creative faculties.

To me and, I expect, many other readers it must have appeared that Graham Ovenden disappeared from the face of the Earth after publishing his last well-known books in the 1990s. I was intrigued by a title I had not seen before owned by a serious collector who was liquidating his collection. It was Acrostics: Pictured in rhyme & colour (2003) published by Artists’ Choice Editions in Oxford. Over the years, I had met only a handful of people who knew of this work and its contents. I later learned that was because the commercial edition consisted of only 240 signed copies augmented with 24 specials and 5 “Exemplaries”.

Graham Ovenden and Brian Partridge – Acrostics (2003) (1a)

Graham Ovenden and Brian Partridge – Acrostics (2003) (1b)

Except for ‘Anouchka’ in the Artists’ Choice Edition version, images were printed in diptych form.  I am showing most of them as individual panels to make them more legible and to show off the detail of Partridge’s work.

In the course of researching this mysterious volume and background information on the artist for his original post, I learned that Ovenden is fond of collaborating with and encouraging other artists. Accompanying the images and poetry is the excellent decorative artwork of Brian Partridge. Partridge is an astounding artist and will be featured in a dedicated post to be published soon. He met Ovenden for the first time in 1982 while visiting him at Barley Splatt for a long weekend in the company of Keith Spencer, who published a magazine called The Green Book where his drawings first appeared in print.

The first acrostics to be published were in Ovenden’s monograph published by Academy Editions in 1987 featuring Daisy and Tilly. These particular examples were destroyed in a motorcycle accident near London while being carried by a courier.

Graham Ovenden and Brian Partridge – ‘Daisy’ from Graham Ovenden (monograph, 1987)

The next publication to include an acrostic from the proposed book was in ‘The Ruralists’ issue of Art & Design magazine (profile no. 23, Volume 6, 9/10 1990). This was a colored pencil portrait by Ovenden.

Graham Ovenden and Brian Partridge – Art & Design, Volume 6, (9/10 1990)

No other acrostics appeared in print until the finished Artists’ Choice Editions version in 2003. The book contains only 12 designs and accompanying text but was intended to have a half dozen more. Due to some mixup, those did not end up getting printed. The missing images did appear in the specials and exemplaries as those were hand-printed and assembled. ‘Amy’, ‘Eve’ and ‘Anna’ shown below were among the omitted items.

Graham Ovenden and Brian Partridge – Acrostics (2003) (2a)

Graham Ovenden and Brian Partridge – Acrostics (2003) (2b)

Renowned novelist Joanne Harris wrote the introduction for this book and others for Ovenden and, conversely, he illustrated one of her novels as well. Along with a brief history of this art form, she recounts a visit to Barley Splatt along with her husband and daughter.

I have been an admirer of Graham Ovenden for nearly twenty years, although we only met face-to-face in 2002, when I contacted him to commission a portrait of my daughter, Anouchka. Arriving (rather nervously) at Graham’s home, the legendary Barley Splatt, on a glorious summer’s day, my husband, my daughter and I were greeted by a serene and genial gentleman with a mischievous smile who immediately invited us to join him for a walk up the river. We accepted, little suspecting that up the river meant precisely that; a mile-long walk along the bed of a clear and fast-moving little river, while Graham, in boots, gaiters and floppy hat, glided ahead of us, impervious to rocks, brambles or the occasional stretches of deep water which soaked him to the waist. We took off our shoes and joined him; my daughter with the immediate, unquestioning glee of a puppy off the leash, my husband and I with a hesitancy that quickly—and rather to our surprise turned to pleasure.

I suspect it was a test; a means of determining if we had the spirit, the humour and the joie-de-vivre to cherish a work of art by Graham Ovenden. I suppose we passed; in any case, a few days later he presented us with an acrostic poem dedicated to our daughter, with a handwritten postscript, river-walking will never be the same again. -Joanne Harris, July 2003

Graham Ovenden and Brian Partridge – Acrostics (2003) (3a)

Graham Ovenden and Brian Partridge – Acrostics (2003) (3b)

Of course, the most famous examples of acrostics familiar to Pigtails readers are those of Charles Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll).

A boat, beneath a sunny sky
Lingering onward dreamily
In an evening of July—
Children three that nestle near;
Eager eye and willing ear;
Pleased a simple tale to hear—
Long has paled that sunny sky:
Echoes fade and memories die:
Autumn frosts have slain July.
Still she haunts me, phantomwise,
Alice moving under skies
Never seen lo waking eyes.
Children yet, the tale to hear,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Lovingly shall nestle near
In at Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die:
Ever drifting down the stream—
Lingering in the golden gleam—
Life, what is it but a dream?

I must concur with Harris that Ovenden seems a logical and worthy successor to Carroll in many ways.

For me, it is with Lewis Carroll—and his natural successor, Graham Ovenden—that acrostic verse has the most resonance and style. Both are artists who combine a strong visual aesthetic with a deceptive, childlike simplicity. Both are unashamedly eccentric, taking pleasure in the whimsical and the grotesque. Both are chroniclers of the photographic image, with a particular sensitivity to the transience of youth and beauty.

Both have a special, almost pagan reverence for children and Nature. Both share a deep nostalgia for a golden past that has never quite existed beyond the mystic state of grace represented by childhood. -Joanne Harris, July 2003

It is hard to account for all the variations in the images. Once Partridge submited his drawings, Ovenden might trim them to better show off the particular portrait. If, in hindsight, he was still not pleased with the final result, he would make further revisions for the special editions. For example, his original concept for Eve was fairly simple. But pleased with the results of one of his paintings of this model, Tess, he decided to use that instead.

Graham Ovenden and Brian Partridge – ‘Eve’ (original, 1985)

Graham Ovenden and Brian Partridge – Acrostics (2003) (4a)

Graham Ovenden and Brian Partridge – Acrostics (2003) (4b)

Ovenden’s original intent was to produce special drawings for each of the portraits, but this plan never materialized. Therefore, the images have a raw on-the-fly quality that reflects the creative impulse of the artist. These works were not planned from beginning to end, but were composed as the muse struck him. Thus an image could be based on almost any medium: photograph, painting, drawing or one of these modified on computer.

Graham Ovenden and Brian Partridge – Acrostics (2003) (5a)

Graham Ovenden and Brian Partridge – Acrostics (2003) (5b)

Juliette Liberty (what a wonderful name!) is Peter Blakes’ daughter. You will recognize this image from the ‘Fall from Grace?’ post.

Graham Ovenden and Brian Partridge – Acrostics (2003) (6a)

Graham Ovenden and Brian Partridge – Acrostics (2003) (6b)

In reviewing the history of this project, Partridge got motivated to better document the details. Although an enjoyable process, he did have an odd feeling of “curating my own past”. There are still a few examples that have yet to be used in any final pieces.

Brian Partridge – original drawing for prospective acrostic ‘M’ (1986)

The story does not end in 2003. Since this is a work of inspirational impulse, new pieces have been added. Although Ovenden’s original books were well-sourced and researched, he was not pleased with the production value of the images themselves. So he took it upon himself to learn the craft of printmaking and began publishing hand-printed books with museum-quality paper and bindings. These are fairly expensive volumes for a select clientele which created the impression that Ovenden was no longer productive. He began publishing under the name Garage Press, mostly expensive tomes with a few commercial productions thrown in such as Robin Hanbury-Tenison’s Echos of a Vanished World (2012). So since about 2015, there has been an updated hand-produced version of Acrostics available. Below is one of the new additions to the volume that now contains more than 20 diptychs.

Graham Ovenden and Brian Partridge – Acrostics (2015)

There is a lot more to the Garage Press story and efforts are underway to print more commercial productions that would be accessible to the general public. My next major post will be about this story and give an overview of the titles currently available and what arrangements can be made for the more serious collectors among you to purchase them. And as mentioned above, Brian Partridge’s long overdue post will follow shortly thereafter.

Maiden Voyages: January 2018

This is looking to be a banner year for Pigtails.  So many things are really coming together and I am refreshed and ready to get back on track.

Ode to a Special 7-Year-Old: Pip and I have often referred to Pigtails in Paint as a work of art in its own right with a kind of life of its own.  Christian recently suggested that we do a special post for the 7th anniversary.  This idea did not appeal to me at first since “seven” is not usually a landmark year.  However, given the subject matter of this site, it is apropos that we do something to commemorate our little girl reaching—what many of you will agree—is a particularly delightful age.  We will be featuring relevant poetry contributed by Christian and original poems written by Graham Ovenden and Pip Starr.  Since I like this site to be a communal effort, I would like to solicit suggestions from our readers and contributors.  Don’t forget: the anniversary date is February 15th.

The New Doomsday Book: For those who are unfamiliar, when William the Conqueror took over England, he had a detailed accounting of all assets in the country so he would know what property fell under his domain.  It got its name because of its thoroughness: that no thing of value could escape its accounting.  While Graham Ovenden was serving prison time, he was not just passing the time.  He did a lot of reading, writing and even got to do some painting.  Most notable though is his diary which is a meticulous accounting of the malpractices and injustices of the police, the media and Her Majesty’s courts and officials.  After Ovenden’s release, a barrister came forward to offer his services in suing the police, the media (excepting two companies) and the courts.  The full documentation of the details has actually been beautifully bound together in a book, complete with high-quality images.  Once this case begins to get public traction, it may be one of the most revealing exposés on the corruption rampant in these organizations.

The Latest Victim of the Censorship Police: Facebook does it once again.  After being blocked for one day for posting an Ilona Szwarc image, now Christian has been blocked for 3 days for posting a while back a painting by William Sargeant Kendall, Narcissa (1907). Christian says he will go on posting art until they throw him out.  The most disturbing twist is that Facebook wants to know who he really is.  When they learned that he was using an alias—not allowed according to the Facebook ToS—they suspended his account.  Account holders are required to give their real first and last name which is a real blow to freedom of speech, particularly in countries where people are subject to dictatorial repression.  So if Christian wishes to continue on Facebook, he will have to share information that would make it possible for various trolls and fascists to harass him at his home for expressing his unconventional views.  Christian says he prefers VK which has not censored him so far but seems to be used mostly by Russians.

Coming to the Defense: It is nice, for a change, to see a museum not kowtow to the lowest common denominator and refusing to take down one of Balthus’ paintings entitled Thérèse Dreaming (1938), depicting a young girl in a pose that leaves her underwear showing—quite usual for this artist..  The Metropolitan Museum of Art received an online petition with over 8,000 signatures urging the museum to reconsider its decision to include this painting.

Liberation and Pigtails’ New-Old Look:  Readers may have noticed a change in the appearance of the site. These new changes are actually old.  I liked the look of the posts in the original incarnation of this site first established by Pip.  When we were kicked off of WordPress, we had to start over.  I did not realize that selecting a new ‘Theme’ meant that we had to accept the accompanying typestyle and paragraph style.  For a while, I was at a loss on how to make this adjustment without a major overhaul until recently.  The heading font is called ‘Liberation’ which I think is quite appropriate.  I hope you will all agree with me that this look is much more suitable and reflects the proper artistic sensibility expressed in this site.  Also, the obstacle of including categories to the reference pages has been overcome as well and, in the next few months, readers will see a major expansion to ‘The Pipeline’, especially the list of artists and films.  This will make it easier to know which items we are aware of and what materials are still needed to do proper posts.

Domains and Extortion on the Web: When we switched to pigtailsinpaint.org, I thought it made sense to retire the old .com domain.  This seemed a good idea at first, but there was the problem of forwarding all the ‘legacy’ links from posts that were popular in the past.  Also, we had no way of controlling what a new owner might do with the domain.  Bad luck and naivete has now put us in a position of losing the domain.  Unbeknownst to us, the company who registered the domain for us went out of business and we were not informed.  When the domain expired, it was not renewed/updated as expected.  By the time we realized we had to deal with a new company, it was too late and the domain was sold to someone else.  We are still making an appeal to ICANN since we were not given a fair opportunity to renew and I do have a receipt showing that I attempted to renew in good faith.  A few days ago, I received an email from someone who claimed to be the new owner asking us for $1200 to get our old domain back!  I am told this is a common practice these days.  I will keep readers apprised as more details become available.

The Most Beautiful Little Girl?  The media’s incessant need for sensationalism continues.  This time, they insist on stirring things up by perpetuating the notion of six-year-old Anastasia Knyazeva as the “most beautiful girl in the world”.  This is a completely subjective moniker once given to Thylane Blondeau when she was the same age.  In particular, it seems this girl has been singled out because of her unusual doll-like appearance.

Adorable Braiding Video: A colleague forwarded a link to this French video called Tuto coiffure facile by Tape à l’oeil – La couronne tressée.  It is an instructional video demonstrating a particular braiding technique.  The especially lovely girl featured also narrates the video.

… and on a personal note: I know even my colleagues did not know this, but I have had more difficulty seeing due to rapid-onset cataracts.  I am pleased to announce that my surgery was successful and my vision is clear again.  As a result, it should be easier to review new material and produce posts from now on.  So this year, my sincerity in wishing you all a Happy New Year is especially heartfelt.  -Ron

Anthropomorphism and the Impossible Standard

For many of us, Christmas is a sentimental time.  During the holiday season, there is much preparation for gatherings of friends and family.  Anticipation is the most intoxicating part and children whet their appetites for the coming of St. Nicholas by watching the numerous animated specials produced over the years.  Particularly successful was a Rankin-Bass production called Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964), based roughly on a song by the same name.

A strange thing occurred to me while reviewing these classics this year.  First of all, as a grown-up I could appreciate what it was that made these special so appealing (or overrated) and secondly, I took a closer look at the role of Clarice, Rudolph’s girlfriend.  Strictly speaking, she is a reindeer, not a little girl; but it is clear that the intent was that all characters, man or beast, were really stand-ins for human roles.

Larry Roemer, Romeo Muller, Robert May and Johnny Marks – Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)

Using an animal stand-in not only makes the character more appealing to children, but they can sometimes be endowed with some superhuman feature associated with that species (loyalty of dogs, courage of horses, wisdom of owls, etc.)  I got to thinking how the role of Clarice informed my idea of the ideal little girl/girlfriend in my youth and how hard it is to shake this idealism when dealing with real women in the real world.  Wouldn’t it be nice if every misfit in the world had an unconditionally compassionate companion to encourage him/her while facing the harsh challenges of the world?

Maiden Voyages: December 2017

The Things We Have to Do: As mentioned about a year ago, we were planning to allow the pigtailsinpaint.com domain to expire. There are a few unintended consequences to that which we did not consider at the time.  Part of the problem has to do with search engines and what other people might try to do to damage our reputation.  Here is a summary of the situation put together by our host and site technician:

Pigtails in Paint produces a lot of results on all of the major engines but in many cases these links go directly to material that requires an adult rating, but with no such warning on the sites themselves. Switching to ‘SafeSearch’ then often removes all of the perfectly legitimate links which ought not be to be removed. A lot of work has been done now to ensure that the sitemap information for pigtailsinpaint.org is acceptable to a number of the major engines. google.com is the obvious front-runner, but bing.com (and yahoo.com which its indexing also controls) is finally displaying clean results for the direct site search on site:pigtailsinpaint.org along with yandex.com (linked to duckduckgo.com) and baidu.com (if I understand the text correctly) but excite.com seems to be indexing nothing. In addition, currently only google.com is showing any results for images indexed from site:pigtailsinpaint.org. Bing’s webmaster site is claiming to have indexed the images sitemap but is just showing a blank page as are all of the other engines. The nice thing about Google’s results is that there are very few pictures with bare skin. It’s a very good display of just what is present on the Pigtails site. Even switching on ‘SafeSearch’ to ‘Strict’ only takes out a few pictures, and some of them are not the one’s one would expect. By removing the actual site in a filter and searching the topic “pigtailsinpaint.org” produces a much more disturbing result. The vast majority of images are nude or semi-nude and associated with a link to pigtailsinpaint.org or pigtailsinpaint.com. On a number of the search engines it is impossible to identify just where the image was sourced in terms of the specific page the image came from. At least Google gives a link to the original page, but with the vast number of images returning to sites like ‘Pinterest’ one has little chance of finding anything out about an image. baidu.com is the only site that returns anything “pigtails” related (图片 button) but even that produces porn on the first page of results. One has to ask just why some of the material returned is included on the page. Yandex seems a better service than Bing which I was using, but it is only indexing the pigtails images as pigtailsinpaint.com so currently only the cached images are being displayed. All the forwarding to the actual posts is broken.

One of the concerns about no longer controlling pigtailsinpaint.com is that some disreputable person will use it to promote porn (taking advantage of the site’s popularity) and give the wrong impression to people who try to search for our site for the first time.  Also, since they were already established, popular searches are linked to the .com domain; there seems no means to have .org inherit those rankings.  The concern about the site being accessible from specific artist or content searches is a real one and it occurs to me that this whole business is another tactic to censor our site and a meaningful examination of our subject matter.

What Passes for Controversy These Days: Whenever Graham Ovenden is asked what he thinks of the plight of children today, he reminds them that although things are far from perfect, we should realize that things have improved a lot over the last century.  It is the media which needs to stir up controversy to make sales.  A case in point is a tip from a reader about an item recently making the national headlines in the Netherlands. Vivian Keulards, a renowned photographer, was informed that two of her portraits presented in an art gallery hosted by a commercial office center were removed due to a complaint from one of the corporate tenants. The photos feature six-year-old children innocently playing with deer antlers in the forest. The artist posted her story on Facebook which (surprise, surprise!) promptly removed her post for violating their rules. Her story is posted in English (beneath the Dutch version). One of the ‘”offending” photos featured her then six-year-old daughter which can be seen here on the website of this Dutch national newspaper.  Nobody knows which corporate tenant complained, or why, but people seem supportive of her position.  It is only the one image that seems to be generating the controversy, a demi-nude (topless) of the girl holding antlers to her head.

Taking Lessons: Pip informed me of a very talented 12-year-old girl who gives Japanese language lessons!  She does videos on other things too — obviously, a very bright girl. Interestingly, she’s “come out” as gay, which is peculiar since she first did so at age 11. Here are some links to her other YouTube videos.  (herehere and here).

Maiden Voyages: November 2017

A Definitive Text?  A remarkable book came into my possession a few years ago and has always intrigued me.  It was a small book by Shizuki Obuchi called How to Shoot Little Girls.  Its 49 little chapters seem to cover just about every aspect of shooting little girls in the nude.  It is my hope that readers will come forward and help translate this work so that interesting details and anecdotes might be included in a future post about the photographer.  The first three chapters have already been translated by a Japanese student (and is also responsible for translating the Sawatari notes as well).  Moko also took part and transcribed a few of the chapters as well.  Please take a look and, for those who are able, please assist in having this translated.  I would also appreciate suggestions for programs that can be purchased that can provide better translations than that offered by Google Translate.

Living Goddess: In recent news, Nepal just elected its new kumari.  In some ways they are almost a living work of art. This practice also stirs some ambivalence because although these girls almost certainly have a better life than the vast majority of children in Nepal, they are also a kind of slave from the time they’re chosen until they reach puberty and lose their goddess status. My only exposure to this event was an episode of The Human Animal hosted by Desmond Morris.  As part of his illustration on status displays, he points out how the Nepali kumari, though a diminutive girl, must be raised on a high carriage to reflect her high status in public.

Fellow Worshipers: Christian has found an excellent site online that has a lot of detailed information about Samuel Clemens’ Angelfish girls.  A comment was included at the end of the post with a link to another site which discusses the topic.

Maiden Voyages: October 2017

I wish to thank Pip, Arizona and Christian for keeping the home fires burning while I take a break from production.  In fact, as I mentioned last month, I am not taking a break from the site really.  I am simply educating myself and developing materials that will enhance its overall service and professionalism.  It is a sharp learning curve with a lot of trial and error and it takes time.

An Unusual Focus: I was surprised to learn that IMDb has a specialty page dealing with nudity of underage actresses.  A few of these titles are known, but many are not and Pigtails has copied the list for future research and review.  Given the controversy this may trigger, it is not known how long the list will remain on the site.  Since there are so many titles that were unknown, this would seem a bonanza for us.  However, because most of these films deal with young, post-pubescent girls, they are not covered in the scope of our site.

A Brave and Edgy Remake: In the course of investigating the career of Oona Laurence who played Tommie in the film Lamb, Pip discovered that she has been cast in a film called The Beguiled.  There is a 1971 Clint Eastwood film by that name and this is indeed a remake.  The intriguing thing about the plot is that it is about a wounded Union soldier who takes refuge in a Southern all-girls’ school during the Civil War.  The sexually-repressed girls then fight about whom he likes best.  It is interesting to note that it is directed by Sofia Coppola who seems to specialize in films about the psychology of teen girls so the drama should resonate in a believable performance.  Incidentally, Laurence also appeared in a short film after Lamb called Imaginapped.

Mistress of the Flies?  One of our readers has informed us about a film remake in production based on the novel and film Lord of the Flies.  The twist is that this time, the survivors are all girls.  This has certainly stirred things up in the media, but the directors insist they are staying true to the original intent of the novel and hope to dispel the usual stereotypes about the nature of aggression in boys versus girls.

More Desirée Drama: As mentioned in a recent ‘Maiden Voyages’, Google+ censored the image of Desirée from the series ‘American Girls’ by Ilona Szwarc.  Now Facebook has also censored it, ironically in a post denouncing the Google+ censorship.

Just Another Hoax: The graffiti artist Banksy was recently reported as captured and unmasked by police in a Palestine exhibition.  However, this story was manufactured by a hoaxer going by many aliases and publishing in the Nevada County Scooper and repeated by a number of news satire websites.

Alt-Right Unwittingly Boosts Ratings: A show called Big Mouth has been the latest target by the far right who have been boycotting and protesting the content of films produced by Netflix in the past year.  Of particular focus is a scene where a middle-school girl has a conversation with her talking, animated vagina.  Although meant to convey angst and ambivalence of a burgeoning sexuality, these critics insist it promotes pedophilia.

Girls’ Portraiture SNAFU: Fans of this website may have noticed a strange notice requesting a password for entry.  The blogger informs me that this glitch is a mundane computer problem and he does not currently have access to the site.  It is not clear if this situation is going to be remedied or if he will have to start again elsewhere.  He wanted to express his apologies to fans of the site who have not been able to reach him with their comments and questions.  I have been informed that only certain entries are password protected and one can scroll down to the other entries.  Those who have been in contact with this blogger can email him directly for the password to the protected posts.

Maiden Voyages: August-September 2017

The Trouble with Renaissance Men: Many readers have observed that I have been rather inactive of late.  Pigtails in Paint is not only a project run by volunteers, but is an expression of creativity in its own right and requires a certain amount of creative impulse.  Summer should have been a productive time for publishing an incredible backlog of fascinating material, but some other things have captured my interest lately and I felt compelled to pursue them.  Please rest assured that I have not lost interest in Pigtails and recognize its importance in the shaping of public attitudes and political progress.  I would like to thank Pip, Arizona and other associates for keeping the home fires burning.  To demonstrate the seriousness of my commitment, you should know that one of my projects this summer was the commissioning of a set of custom shelves to house the various girl-related materials that have accumulated over the years.  This has drastically reduced the clutter and will help with the assembly of future material for eventual publication.

These shelves now house the on-topic books, magazines, original artwork and prints, figurines, hardcopy leads, unsorted postcards and digitized materials to be used for Pigtails in Paint.

How Much Punishment Is Enough?  As described in an earlier post, Chris Madaio served a prison term for possessing child pornography.  He then had to serve more time for a so-called parole violation that, in an equitable court of law, should have been regarded as double jeopardy.  He has been released but has been put in a frustrating position because of the fact that he was arrested and charged in Alabama instead of his home state of New York.  There are two problems outstanding at this point.  Because of the sex offense, the New York probation office is resisting his efforts to officially relocate there and live with his sister.  Also, the Federal Courts saw fit to return his legitimate photographs, but the State of Alabama seems to have no regard for Constitutional procedure and has not done the same.  Since he is essentially living off of his Social Security checks, he does not have the means to hire skilled lawyers to handle this.  If anyone is willing to help in either or both of these matters, please contact me.  Madaio is a paralegal but does not have the specialty knowledge to compel the courts to assist him.

Blowback: Graham Ovenden really sets the standard when it comes to fighting against persecution from the police, the courts and unsubstantiated libel from the media.  Not only is he preparing to countersue the appropriate government institutions and media companies, but has, in the process, produced hundreds of pages of carefully-documented details demonstrating the extent of the misconduct and a blow by blow account of each image that has been under scrutiny.  I am informed that when available, a digitized form will be made available to Pigtails.  I am sure this will lead to many interesting posts about police overreaching and the arbitrary decisions of judicial system.

New Video Feature: Very often, because particular films contain child nudity, YouTube finds it necessary to remove certain films from public view.  Because of this, one of the most requested films has been The Spy Who Caught a Cold.  I am pleased to announce that readers can now watch this (and others in the future) that are habitually removed from mainstream video sites which tend to overreact to child nudity.  As other films are added, a ‘Video Page’ will be created so readers will know which titles can be viewed.  So if you finally want to see this short film in its entirety, scroll to the bottom of this page. [This video was deleted for some reason.  I am pleased to announce that it is working again.  Please remember to only download items that are clearly identified as there are advertisers on the MediaFire site as well.  Enjoy,  -Ron]

Source Material Identified: A little while ago, Christian informed me of the identity of the original art used by Pip in one of our past banners.  The painting is called The Kiss by Lawrence Alma-Tadema.  You can review all former Pigtails banners on our revised Third Anniversary post.

Double Standard: An interesting issue occurred at the recent San Diego Comic-Con. Of particular interest was a cosplay by Kai, the youngest son of actor Liev Schreiber, who dressed up as Harley Quinn, the Joker’s girlfriend, as she appeared in the film Suicide Squad. Most people seemed to be delighted by Schreiber’s decision to let his son dress as a girl character, but this raises the question that if this had been an actual girl, wouldn’t there have been a huge backlash from critics complaining about the inappropriateness of the costume?  And although a hypocritical media would revel in such a controversy, they seem content to show how tolerant they are about the trans aspect. That aside, Pip found it an admirable choice on Schreiber’s part and, frankly, Kai does seem to have suitably girlish features accentuated by the makeup and long hair.  There is a lot of coverage of this story but here are a few links that Pip sent me: here, here, here, here and here.

Liev Schreiber with son Kai dressed as Harley Quinn at Comic-Con 2017

Modeling Article Installment: As promised, I am sharing a backlog of links to articles about the conditions and lives of child models.  This one is about nine-year-old Kristina Pimenova, a Russian child model considered to be one of the most beautiful girls in the world. Written by Jennifer Gardiner, it discusses the issue of how much and what kind of exposure is acceptable.  Who is legally responsible for the well-being of the model in cases like this?

Other Leads: I often get tidbits mentioning the existence of on-topic sites.  This one is a Spanish site featuring somewhat pastoral images of children.

Random Image: Marina Castillo

I must admit, like Charles Dodgson, I have a weakness for images that illustrate concepts in mathematics and logic.  This image was appropriated for a module on proportions in the United States; namely, the size of the image varies inversely as its distance from the observer (or the camera).

Marina Castillo – Midiendo fuerzas … (2012)

Marina Castillo lives in Mendoza, Argentina and this image is part of a series called ‘Scenes of dwarfs and giants’.  One cannot be completely sure, but it does appear that these scenes were constructed conventionally and not digitized.  If so, then a special setting or lens would have to have been used to maintain a depth of focus for the subjects in the frame.  This one which means “balancing forces” has the additional appeal of being a nod to girl power.