So who is Bill Henson? Is he an artist or a pedophile? Are his photos pornographic or are they art? Bill Henson has skyrocketed into the news headlines as a result of controversy and scandal over an exhibition at the Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery in Sydney which depicted naked 12 year olds.
According to a version of his Wikipedia page says that he is "an Australian photographic contemporary artist". And "much of his art deals with the subject of adolescence." It continues: "Henson's artworks reflects his interest in the interval of teenagers and adults. The use of chiaroscuro is common throughout his works. His photos are highly painterly and are often presented in the style of diptychs, triptychs and other specific groupings. Henson's works often meditate on the categories and relationships of male and female; youth and adulthood; day and night; light and dark; nature and civilisation. His photographs are often flattened and abstracted. The faces of the subjects are often blurred or partly shadowed and positioned not directly towards the audience. Henson's art has been exhibited in many locations, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Venice Biennale, the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Austria, the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney, Austria and the Bibliotheque Nationale in Quebec." Henson presents “adolescents in their states of despair, intoxication and immature ribaldry”. He has said that these “moments of transition and metamorphoses are important in everyone’s lives” (Crawford, A 2003, ‘Bill Henson: Lux et Nox’, Art Monthly Australia, no.164, Oct).
Finally, it is interesting to see an opinion on wikipdia: "Henson's intention is to use photography for creative expression. He states that he is not interested in a political or sociological agenda, although the viewer cannot help but relate his works to their own stance on these issues. Henson, however, is not intending his photographs to be authoritative evidence but rather to suggest endless possibilities and cause people to wonder."