Bill Henson is an amazingly skilled artist. He is an amazingly controversial artist too, and I often find myself stunned to learn people's opinions of him and his work - people who I had considered open-minded and quite liberal, who spit venom at the mention of his name.
I remember when I was about 8, a family friend took me into the city entirely for the purpose of seeing a Bill Henson exhibition. I remember hearing people express their disapproval of this, and suggesting that it was entirely inappropriate for an 8 year old to see such an exhibition.
But I was captivated. I loved the exhibition perhaps more than any other I have seen to this day. It was beautiful and intruiging and like some amazing fantasy world. I sat in front of the massive photographs for what felt for hours and soaked them in, wanting to stay forever. Until recently, I had a small postcard sized print of one of his photographs stuck to my wall.
It saddens me that people can be so close-minded and so quick to judge things like this. They are afraid of unfamiliar things and they are reluctant to accept that the wrold is changing and that the general consensus on many issues has changed and become looser and freer. They are afraid to see the beauty in Henson's photographs and focus on the nakedness and what they see as vulgarness. But I suppose it is to be said that i everyone loved them as much as I do, I probably wouldn't love them as much as I do.