Although surreptitious, watching or staring at others is an ancient topos in cultural history it is still fraught with danger and taboo especially where nudity is involved. Even today it is considered rude to stare. Since the Renaissance both church and state have punished visual art, using it as a scapegoat for their failure to control community sexuality.
THE controversy over an exhibition of photographs of naked young teens has spread to country NSW, with another gallery taking down works by Bill Henson. Police raided a gallery at Paddington in Sydney last Thursday, closing down an exhibition of Henson's works just before it was due to open. Read about the Paddington gallery's controversial art raid here.
Thank you for signing up. Sorry, it looks like an error occurred. Police have declined to charge artist Bill Henson over a series of photographs of naked teenagers seized from a Sydney gallery last month.
I'm in a dead-end street in Melbourne's inner northstanding at an ivy-draped brick wall and a towering gate. Behind the gate lives Bill Henson, one of Australia's greatest, and most controversial, photographers. I press the buzzer, thinking of what Henson's friend, Barry Humphries, said about this palmshaded compound: a visit, he wrote, is "always a great event". Moments later, Henson — sinewy, with a long bare forehead and thinning, greying collar-length hair — appears from a mid-compound door, a black Staffordshire bull terrier menacing ahead.
Bill Henson born 7 October  is an Australian contemporary art photographer. Henson has exhibited nationally and internationally in galleries such as the Solomon R. His current practice involves holding one exhibition in Australia every two years, and up to three overseas exhibitions each year.
So, nanny state subverted by the lawless Web bleearrgh! No doubt these pics are all over the Net by now, but if I have contravened any copyright laws in posting them here, on being credibly and meaningfully appraised of that fact I will, of course, take them down immediately. Excellent stuff.
The move came as police prepared to lay charges after more than 20 Henson photographs, labelled "absolutely revolting'' by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, were seized from Sydney's Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery. Do you know someone who has? Email scoop theage.
The controversy about the Mr Bill Henson's photographs has touched deep feelings. The issues involved have inevitably been reduced to single words or phrases, like exploitation, censorship, pornography, parents' response and freedom of artistic expression. The issues however are complex, because the social relationships involved in taking and showing photographs of pubescent children are also complex and interrelated. They need to be named and thought through patiently.
Almost a decade ago, police raided the Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery in Sydney and seized two dozen of Bill Henson's works, with then prime minister Kevin Rudd labelling them "revolting". This week, two major public galleries have put his photographs of naked young people back on their walls — and nobody has batted an eyelid. On Friday the National Gallery of Victoria opens a free solo exhibition of 23 of his works, the majority of them nudes.
Lives and works in Melbourne. Download CV. These beautiful and mysterious images are characterized by chiaroscuro, translucent skin tones, and jewel-tone colors that add an ethereal quality to ambiguous settings. Bill Henson: early work from the Monash Gallery of Art collectiontravelling exhibition.