How does a naked female sound, lying back on her futon with her arms stretched out and her exposed genitals drawing the viewer’s eye to the center of the frame?
Well, for some of the perverts out there, that would sound pretty attractive. But what if the female was only 10 years old?
It takes on a whole new perspective when the female is a young innocent child. And that is child pornography. But according to artists David Hamilton and Jock Sturges, it is art.
Hamilton’s “The Age of Innocence” and Sturges’ “Radiant Identities” are two art books that have been selling at Barnes & Nobles all over the country. The focus of both books are naked children and is supposed to be seen as art. In no way should naked children be seen as art.
Both books are focused on naked girls on the precipice of puberty. Hamilton mostly shoots black and white but also has photography in his book with an endless array of gauzy color shots of girls. He claims that those particular pictures embroil viewers in issues of childhood and early adolescent sexuality.
According to an article in Newsweek, both of the books are, “enough to make even the staunchest liberal squirm.”
Some of the girls in the photographs are featured erotically, as though they are sex objects. In one of Hamilton’s pictures, he has a 13-year-old girl looking at her breasts, touching them tentatively.
What sort of beautiful art is that? It is not art, it is nothing but naked pictures of children. It is pornography! Next thing you know there will be a children’s Playboy being sold on newsstands.
Hamilton and Sturges are two artists whose work sexualizes children. Hamilton said it himself in an article in the Los Angeles Times, “Sex is a big part of what I do with the camera.”
Sex can be beautiful and it can be labeled as art, but not to the entire world, especially when the people you are referring to are just children.
Throughout the books, there are not only pictures, but also short captions and poetry to go along with the disgusting pornography. One caption reads, “She is so lovely, our nymph and her potential is infinite. Heaven grant her the man who is worthy of her, and who comes to her bringing sex with tenderness. She has her virginity and her innocence; she will, if she is fortunate, trade them in due course for experience and love.”
What is that all about? That is the sort of corny wording that would be found in some sort of illegal child porno, but according to the artists it is words of art.
Children are so precious and innocent and millions of pictures should be taken of them all the time. Whether it is for a book or just to put in a homemade scrap book. But the pictures of children should not be naked ones with a caption explaining that one day the child will have her virginity taken away and that is a beautiful thing, that sort of reading is not acceptable for children.
Those children in the books are being exposed to so many new things and the slightest thing can influence them. The question is, will those children feel it is all right to go and take naked pictures and be naked whenever they want from now on and in the future?
I would not be surprised if there was a study of those children in Hamilton’s and Sturges photographs, and 10 years from now, some of children are porno stars or the next Playboy centerfolds. They were exposed it it at such a young age, they will probably do it when they become adults?
And probably the worse thing about this is that the parents of these children gave the OK for Hamilton and Sturges to photograph their children. And I am sure the money they received had nothing to do with it.
I know that if my mom had allowed me to be in one of those books at 10, 12 or 13, I would have resented it and I would not be very happy about it right now.
Hamilton claims that people who do not except his work are “the great unlaid.” Well for me, that is not the case at all. I just feel that naked pictures of children exposed to the world is sick and it should be stopped.
Laura Czingula, a senior journalism major, is editor in chief of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.