Comment piece in the Scotsman on the remove of Graham Ovenden’s prints from the Tate
We should not confuse the actions of the artist with their work. Firstly, where would we stop? A quick glance at the history of art, and multiple paintings suddenly become suspect, and our appreciation of them tainted.
Take Degas. Can we really trust that his interest in young, female ballerinas was entirely appropriate? It certainly was not in the case of Gauguin, whose paintings depict his teenage Polynesian lovers. What about all those Greek statues of prepubescent youth in museums? Young men were seen in a very different light then to the way they are today, and they were treated differently too. The Renaissance goldsmith and sculptor Benventuo Cellini was well known for seducing young boys. He was prosecuted for sodomy. Should his pieces be removed from galleries?