A new show by the acclaimed photographer Bill Henson will feature portraits of figures, similar to images of naked teenagers that provoked controversy and a police raid of his show at a Sydney gallery in 2008.
The invitation to Henson’s upcoming exhibition at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery features a photo of a teenage boy, bare-chested and glistening with sweat, looking pensively away from the camera. Henson has not decided which photos will be shown at the exhibition, which opens on September 20, but in an interview with the Herald‘s art critic John McDonald in this Saturday’s Spectrum, he said "It will focus more on the body, and less on landscape."
It is in stark contrast to Henson’s 2010 exhibition at the Paddington gallery, his first show following the police raid, which appeared to disappoint his detractors by featuring works that were mostly landscapes and architectural ruins. "He ignited controversy – now he’s ditching it," was the title of column in response. However, gallery owner Roslyn Oxley said the show includes both landscape and figurative works that represent themes Henson has explored for more than three decades.
Following the controversy over Henson’s photos, the government of New South Wales, Australia changed its child pornography laws in 2010, removing the defence of artistic purpose. The law change meant artists who create images of naked children have to pay for a Commonwealth classification to ensure against prosecution. Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery submitted works from Henson’s 2010 exhibition to the Classification Board, which ruled they would be "unlikely to offend a reasonable adult".
Oxley said the 2008 scandal had not affected Henson’s work. "There has been no impact. People who love and respect Bill Henson’s work continue to love and respect his work." Last year, Henson gave a speech in which he described the 2008 scandal as "at best inconvenient". In 2008, Henson’s show at Roslyn Oxley9 was raided by police following accusations of child pornography. Several photos were seized, investigated and Henson’s work was labelled "revolting" and "devoid of artistic merit" by the then prime minister, Kevin Rudd.
In contrast, the then opposition treasury spokesman Malcolm Turnbull, who owns Henson works, criticised the police raids of galleries displaying photos by Henson. Criminal investigations into Henson were widened to include previous work and other galleries were forced to remove his photos from display. But three weeks later, the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions decided not to proceed with any charges and the seized photos were returned to the gallery.
Henson is one of Australia’s most highly regarded contemporary artists, having represented the country at the Venice Biennale. He has been the subject of exhibitions at major galleries, including the Art Gallery of NSW, which holds almost 70 works by Henson, including landscapes, ruins and figures. "We obviously think he is very important in Australian art," said the gallery’s curatorial director and head of international art, Tony Bond. "I think Henson’s imagination and the depth of his cultural engagement is quite extraordinary."
Henson said he did not seek out controversy. "Some people decide they want to be controversial," he said. "I don’t know who in their right mind could be so stupid."
In his Half-Drag series, New York photographer Leland Bobbé captures the two sides of the city’s drag queens — the extravagantly made-up drag divas and the organic men that lie beneath.
"Through the power of hair and makeup these men are able to completely transform themselves and find their female side while simultaneously showing their male side," he says. And the identities are composed in camera and are not separate images joined during editing.
Bobbé posted the first portrait of the Half-Drag series on his blog last March, writing, "I got great feedback on the image so I decided to reach out to other drag queens… I’ve now shot four people with many more on the way. We’ll see where this takes me…” Five months later, the project has taken the award-winning photographer far: It has been featured in Italian Vogue, fashion site Refinery 29, as well as in other websites and blogs from around the world. (via the HuffPo Gay Voices)
The main character in Summer Wars is Kenji Koiso. He’s 17. But it was Kazuma Ikezawa, a 13-year-old side character and computer hacker, who was made an action figure by Alter (or their male line Altair) last year. I happened to come across it in a small otaku shop in Akihabara in December 2011.
I guess I never fully understood the obsession with action figures until I found this one. Or when it found me. Or shall I say when he found me? :p What a beautiful craft by sculptor Sen-U Tanaka!
I did buy some smaller action figures before, mainly from Ashita no Joe and Sailor Moon. But never before did I happily pay over 6,000 yen for an action figure. Hello otaku world!
This post was first published on karlandersson.se
What’s a mother to do when her 12-year-old son has a passion for long hair and lovely dresses? If she’s surrealist artist Margo Selski, she lets him pose as the subject of her fantastical paintings. Selski celebrates her son’s androgyny in an empowering new series of paintings that bring him one step closer to his idol, Lady Gaga. Read on…
The queer establishment disrupters over at the berlin-based publishing house Entartetes Leben are in the process of blessing the world with their newest baby Shallow Tourist, a sublime and sexy trip to Eastern & Central Europe, as documented by its secretive author Moot on 80 pages in full colour. The book is printed in 750 copies on 140 gram art book paper and you can order it right here.
Can’t spare the money to get these boys onto your coffee table? No prob, we wouldn’t be the socialist propaganda blog we’re being accused of making regularly if we wouldn’t share our wealth, right? All you gotta do is putting some pieces together to assemble a naked lad. No, you’re not supposed to channel Dr. Frankenstein, put those Tesla coils away!
All we’re asking you for is solving this jigsaw puzzle of a photo I snapped of one of the pages of Shallow Tourist and mail a screenshot of the completed image our way until Sunday, 10 PM Central European Time. We’ll randomly select a winner who will not only get a free copy of Shallow Tourist but also the first issue of the scandalous Breaking Boy News [Not Safe for Kittens]!
30 bucks saved, just like that… yay!