Brooke Shields nude photo causes controversy

Tate Modern plans to show nude photo of the actress aged 10

A nude photograph of Brooke Shields at the age of 10 is due to appear in an exhibition at the Tate Modern, London.

But the decision to show the picture has caused controversy, with campaigners calling it ‘obscene‘ and a ‘magnet’ for paedophiles.

Brooke appears in the photo standing naked in a bathtub, oiled and wearing make-up. She is staring directly into the camera.

The photo was taken by Richard Prince and is actually a photograph of another photograph taken by Garry Gross in 1975.

Gross’s original photo was taken with the consent of Brooke’s mother.

The image will appear as the centrepiece of an exhibition featuring adult pornographic material called Pop Life: Art in a Material World.

Campaigners say the inclusion of the photograph in the exhibition is inappropriate and exploitative.

Brooke Shields was 10 years old when this picture was taken… It must be bordering on child pornography. It is certainly not art,’ says Michele Elliot, founder of Kidscape.

‘If you are using a picture of a naked child to bring people to your exhibition, then you are exploiting that child.’

Brooke attempted to buy back the negatives of Gross’s image in 1981. The ensuing legal battle attracted Prince, who then took his own image of the photo.

The Tate says they sought legal advice before going ahead with their decision.

A spokesman for a religious campaign group said parents would be ‘shocked’ to hear the publicly-funded gallery was showing the photo.

‘They took legal advice to see what they could get away with. Why didn’t they take advice from ordinary parents and the public as to what’s appropriate?’ asks Simon Calvert from The Christian Institute.

The exhibition opens at the Tate Modern on 1 October.


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