This is far from being ART; she wanted to get reactions. I would never take a photo like this one which is personal to the child himself, and this woman lacked the respect to her son and dignity. She definitely has a big problem!
By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
These days, a mom can scrapbook the remnants of her baby's umbilical cord or blog about her teenager's period, and no one will bat an eye. But there's still one place where maternal (or paternal) documentation is sometimes considered an over-share: nude photos of the kids.
Particularly when they're hanging on the walls of a gallery.
From the day her daughter Madeleine was born, Betsy Schneider has performed a ritual that would inspire jealousy in any mom who lost the baby book when her own kid was 3 months old. Schneider's taken what she calls a "Photo of the Day." Two, actually: a headshot and a full-body image.
When Madeleine was an infant, Schneider would get the baby up in the morning, take off her diaper, and snap the photos. She meant to do it only for a year, but the project continued as Madeleine got older (she's now 10), and it came to include her younger brother Viktor, now 6.
The images are almost clinical, certainly documentary-style, marking time on the face and body. Schneider insists the head shots are more personal, but it's the full-frontals, of course, that have gotten so much attention — particularly in 2004, when Schneider showed three huge posters filled with tiny shots of Madeleine at birth, 2, and 5 at a London gallery.
The images came down the day they went up, only to be strewn — along with Schneider's reputation — across the front pages of that city's nasty tabloids, amidst accusations of child pornography.
The depiction of nude children in art is obviously nothing new. The Greeks did it. So did Leonardo da Vinci. But apparently, frescoes on ceilings don't worry cops as much as photographs on the Internet, and today, magazines like Popular Photography devote entire articles to the task of warning shutterbugs not to take film containing that proverbial bearskin rug shot to the local Walgreens to be developed.
Schneider is no mere shutterbug. She graduated from two of the best art schools in the country and apprenticed with Sally Mann, arguably the most famous modern photographer to take pictures of her own naked kids.
The questions raised in the 1992 New York Times Magazine article that first introduced her to Mann's work could as easily be posed today about Schneider's own images:
Mann's work has raised worrying personal concerns. The shield of motherhood can quickly become a sword when turned against her. If it is her solemn responsibility, as she says, "to protect my children from all harm," has she knowingly put them at risk by releasing these pictures into a world where pedophilia exists? Can young children freely give their consent for controversial portraits, even if — especially if — the artist is their parent?
Schneider's taught photography at Arizona State University since 2002, but while the university supported her work, officials kept quiet (and kept her quiet) about the controversy abroad. Schneider's never shown her "Photo of the Day" work in town.
This spring she got tenure, and she got bolder. She's got two local shows planned this year. The first, opening August 15 at The Kitchenette, a photography collective on Roosevelt Row in downtown Phoenix, features 120 images — one a month of Madeleine, from birth to age 10. (Two of Schneider's former students, Desiree Edkins and Jose Sosa, will also be showing their photographs.)
The show's title is "That Enthralling Gallop," from a poem by Emily Dickinson:
Sweet is the swamp with its secrets
Until we meet a snake;
'Tis then we sigh for houses,
And our departure take
At that enthralling gallop
That only childhood knows.
A snake is summer's treason,
And guile is where it goes.
One year, Schneider recalls, her mother got a roll of film developed, and it came back with snapshots from two Christmases. That's how seldom she took photographs.
Neither of Betsy's two younger sisters took pictures, either; they drew. But Betsy couldn't sit still long enough. The photo gene came from her dad and his father. That side of the family "obsessively" photographed family events, she says.
Their parents are both psychologists and raised the girls in Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, and Michigan. Betsy got her first camera at 8, but it wasn't 'til she was picked for yearbook in junior high that the photo bug bit.
"I was kind of a runty, weird, uncomfortable, boyish sixth-grader," she says. "I remember feeling like it was something I did a little bit better."
But she was sloppy in the darkroom and screwed up a couple of rolls of film and lost her confidence. She ran track and cross-country in high school and majored in English literature at the University of Michigan.
She thought about becoming a writer or a lawyer, explaining, "I wanted to argue." But a good photography class reminded her of her old love, and Schneider went back for another undergraduate degree, this time at the Art Institute of Chicago. She was uncomfortable there — it was her first time in a big city; she didn't feel like she fit in or wore the right clothes. But she'd chosen her career.
"Deep down, I knew this was it."
It was the late 1980s, and as Schneider recalls, her classmates — particularly the female ones — were big into the way women were represented in art. The mantra was, "We're reclaiming the female body from the male gaze," but Schneider thought that was BS, particularly because, for her fellow students, it resulted in nothing more than a lot of beautiful, self-conscious self-portraits.
She decided to photograph kids instead.
She was nannying for the four children of her high school track coach, including young twin girls, who became her focus. She wondered, "Can you objectify someone if the picture's made out of love?"
The answer: "Yeah, of course, but it's more complicated."
The twins got their hair cut super-short, and Schneider took a photo of them, at 9, with their shirts off. "Even that felt risky to me," she remembers.
School over, again, she retreated, moving to Prague for a year. She drank beer, wrote in her journal, took maybe 10 rolls of film. Back in Chicago, she tried working as a photo assistant, but hated the technical end.
Then someone mentioned Sally Mann. Mann's career had exploded — she'd been a photographer for quite a while, but it was the ethereal black-and-white images she took of her children that caught the art world's eye. Schneider saw a profile of Mann in the New York Times Magazine.
"I looked at it and said, that's who I want to work for."
She wrote a letter and included some images she'd been working on. Mann wrote her back, on the backside of a print. Not long after, Schneider moved to Lexington, Virginia, to live with Mann and her family.
The Manns were fascinating. They ate ketchup on everything and didn't take a lot of showers. But they threw fancy parties and otherwise blurred the lines between the upper and lower classes, Schneider recalls. She ran with Mann in the morning and read to her kids at night. She pulled weeds, but so did her boss, who also sought her advice about which of her images worked.
"I was a little Sally. There were amazing, amazing parts of it," Schneider says, looking almost 20 years later as though she still can't believe the opportunity came her way. "To this day, she's in my head."
The two remain in touch, though sporadically. A trip to the Grand Canyon earlier this summer fell through. Mann did not respond to an e-mailed request for an interview for this story.
"I adore her. She's complicated. She knows she's complicated," Schneider says. "She can be a pain in the ass."
At the end of a year and a half with Mann, Schneider admits, "I was losing myself."
She left Virginia for Northern California — specifically, Mills College. Ironically, since she'd eschewed the notion in Chicago, Schneider had been taking self-portraits while working for Mann. (After all, as she explains, it wasn't like she could build a body of work by shooting Mann's children; and there wasn't much else in the small town.)
The idea was to be subversive — to take unflattering close-ups of odd angles. She tried to make herself look ugly, to step away, to see the body as an object.
Schneider pulls at her lip. You know, she says, "like when your mouth is numb with Novocain. How weird it is that you're a thing."
In the end, she ditched the self-portraits for intensely close-up shots of the inside of the mouth. The results are freaky landscapes — you'd never know you were looking at a tongue or the inside of a cheek. Her model was a music major named Frank Ekeberg, who lived in her dorm.
The two fell in love. They graduated, and moved to London so Ekeberg could work on his Ph.D. in electronic composition. Schneider was pregnant.
She was making her best work, ever, and she was going to be a mother.
"I thought I was the king of the world," she says.
Admittedly, London was a letdown. Years later she'd get teaching gigs, but at the time she arrived, Schneider was aimless, and her belly was growing. She missed Mills. An acquaintance warned her to make friends before the baby came, so she found some lectures to attend. It was good advice. She met another expectant mother who, years later, curated the show that caused so much controversy.
First, though, Schneider had Madeleine and launched the "Photo of the Day" project.
Ekeberg, whom Schneider describes as "my pretty much perfect husband," was supportive from the start.
"I wasn't sure if we would have the discipline to keep it going for very long, but once it became part of the daily routine, there was never a right moment to stop," he says now. "The little bit of doubt I had in the beginning was purely practical, I didn't have any problems with the artistic idea behind it. I saw it as a long-term work, where it would possibly take years before we would know whether it was interesting enough to present in any way at all as an art work. In the beginning, it was just a cool thing to have a picture from every day of my child's life."
Schneider and family lived in London for four years, then moved to Norway, where Ekeberg was born and raised. She loved the small town where they lived — particularly Madeleine's pre-school, an idyllic setting with wood-paneled walls and the aroma of waffles. The kids skied in winter and ran around naked in the summer.
But Schneider had her sights set on a university job. So she sent out résumés and heard back from Arizona State University. After looking over the faculty's work, Schneider wondered if her résumé had become stuck to the back of someone else's; what she did was so different.
That's what the ASU art faculty liked about her. Mark Klett, Regents professor of photography at the Herberger College of Art at ASU, and a noted fine art photographer in his own right, remembers Schneider's interview. He recalls that he and others admired her work, but equally important, they liked her as a person.
Viktor was a newborn; Schneider recalls getting off the plane in August, wearing a sweater — and a baby.
"She brought the kid with her to the interview, which I thought was really gutsy," Klett says. (Actually, Schneider says, she even breastfed at the interview.)
"She is very upfront, and she kind of wears her opinions and her heart on her shirtsleeve," Klett continues. "She's not hiding anything, and she doesn't play politics or anything, which is really great in a university setting."
He concludes: "She's sort of always questioning herself, which sounds like she's second-guessing herself . . . That's wrong."
Schneider got the job, and moved her family to Arizona.
When she got here, all Schneider knew about the state was that it's hot, and it's the place that didn't want a Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
The ASU photography department was — and is — small (five members then, six now), and it was hard to build a community.
Here, she says, "things are more complicated; people are more complicated."
She has made friends. "I tend to bond with people who are struggling with being here," she says.
The worst part of that is that those are often the people who leave town.
Having kids helped. Schneider coaches both kids' soccer teams. She did the photos for their school yearbook. Now, she admits, she's addicted to the sun.
Her studio is a small room tucked behind the Ekeberg/Schneider home — a modest slump-block on a quiet Tempe street. Inside, it feels a little foreign, starker and brighter than your typical American home. The floors are shiny concrete, the walls plain white. There are Moosewood cookbooks in the kitchen and photographs by Schneider and her students everywhere.
In the studio, a wall A/C unit hums loudly, to keep up with the early June heat. It pretty much looks like how you'd expect a photographer's studio to look: Rubbermaids waiting to be filled with negatives, framed prints spilling onto the floor, fancy computers used to process work. (Though Schneider still prefers film for most projects.)
On the walls, she's tacked single images of the kids — some naked, some clothed. Some are straightforward; others tell a story, whether Schneider means to or not. Unlike Sally Mann, she tends to let images happen, rather than giving the kids props and setting scenes.
In the most striking image, a 4-year-old Viktor has appeared in a doorway at home, wearing nothing but a large policeman's hat cocked jauntily to the side. He's carrying a "gun" made of Lego blocks and staring at the camera. To the side, you see Schneider's reflection as she crouches to take the picture.
Huge rolls with the multiple daily photo images lined up are tucked in a corner.
Madeleine is off somewhere else today, but Viktor's chosen to stay home, and the 6-year-old is aimless — ping-ponging between Mom and Dad, both of whom are trying to get some work done. (Soon, Schneider will take off with the kids for the better part of the summer, on an annual road trip that takes them all across the country.)
Viktor comes to the studio door several times — with a bug sucker, then walkie-talkies. Schneider is gently amused.
Where Madeleine has always been compliant about the daily photo, Viktor's ambivalent at best. At 4, he quit. It was a relief to Schneider, who had been running interference daily — the kids would fight over who would pose first. But today, Viktor's all about photography. He wants to be in the studio. Schneider kindly shoos him away, and keeps talking. She's trying to explain how she came to make her work about her kids. Even back in grad school, she says, she thought about how to make art out of the experience of motherhood. "I know that sounds crass," she says, laughing.
But it's really not, if you look at the body of Schneider's work. Even back in grad school, she was concerned with how time affected living things. She did a gorgeous series of photographs of rotting fruit. She's long been influenced not only by Sally Mann but documentarians like Nicholas Nixon, who for 30 years took an annual photograph of his wife and her three sisters.
"You look at that and think, life is short and it happens to everyone," she says.
She thought about photographing a new baby every hour for the first year.
At this point, Viktor bursts in again, this time with a blue plastic camera.
"Madeleine got that when you were born," Schneider tells him.
"Is it real?" I ask.
"I don't know if it's still real," Schneider says, examining the toy, which at one time, at least, did function.
"It's real!" Viktor announces.
"I don't know if it's working," his mother tells him. Finally, she digs up a roll of film, loads the camera, and sends Viktor off to take pictures.
The kid-photograph project morphed into "Photo of the Day," she continues, and it's continued to morph. When she was 4 or 5, Madeleine started appearing clothed some mornings. Soon, it was every day.
She would probably never come right out and admit it, but that had to be a relief for Schneider. After all, there was London.
The thing about London that makes Schneider the maddest is when people tell her she was naive to think that she could show naked pictures of her kids without incident.
She disagrees. When she was still living in London, just a few years earlier, she went through the whole kiddy-porn thing with the police, who saw her work and cleared her at the time. Twice.
First, one of her students in London was hauled in for questioning, after it was discovered she was photographing children she babysat for. (Unlike Schneider years before her, apparently the student did not ask the family for permission.) The student told police that her photography teacher took naked photos of her own kids every day. The police talked to Schneider. They looked at her work and agreed it was fine.
The second incident came in 2001, when Madeleine was about 4. Betsy took her along to the photo store to pick up some film. They were waiting for her. Instead of handing her prints to Schneider, the guy behind the counter gave them to a cop, who arrested her.
Ekeberg came to the station to pick up Madeleine. The entire episode was over in four hours; Schneider had her photos back that day.
So three years later, when her old friend Heather McDonough asked Schneider to be part of a show called Inventory, at the Spitz Gallery, she didn't hesitate. But there were complaints at the opening; Schneider's work went down almost as soon as it had gone up. The mistake, the organizers admit, was calling the media to look for attention.
Schneider was right; the police weren't interested. But the London press was — in spades — and the episode became front-page news 'til another story (train bombings in Madrid) bumped it. By then, the damage had been done, particularly to Schneider's psyche. She says she knows now why famous people fly first-class. On the plane ride home, she could feel the dirty looks. She felt better only after she passed through customs.
(Since London, Schneider has had a show in New York City, which went without incident.)
The night she got home, Schneider brought the kids into bed with her and lay awake thinking, "What if I've done something awful?"
Ekeberg had taken the daily photos while she was gone. The next morning, when she picked up her camera, "I was shaking."
Schneider's continued with the "Photo of the Day," she's continued to photograph her children naked, at times, and she plans to show her work. But as her colleague Mark Klett says, she does ask herself questions. Hard questions.
It's almost impossible to make good work about your kids, Schneider says: "Either it's too saccharine or you're a bad mother."
She feels the mother/child relationship is sensual and complicated. "You're raising someone to take your place; you're also replicating your genes."
She's not sure that being an artist makes her a better parent, but she feels it makes her a better role model.
"It's back to the cliché of living the examined life," she says. "It might make life harder, but it makes it richer."
The studio door opens. It's Viktor again, presumably back with his camera.
"It's very interesting that Viktor's doing this now," she says as the door opens and Viktor enters — camera gone, costume on. "Oh, now he's a pirate!"
Schneider's photographs are basic and honest and, yes, sometimes naked. She disagrees with the fuss. For her, there are so many other images out there that are more troubling.
She's particularly critical of the work of Jill Greenberg, a Los Angeles photographer who made her money with commercial jobs and a name for herself with images of young children crying.
Greenberg's crying photos are stunning — and disturbing. In 2006, Popular Photography asked her how she makes the children cry:
"Mostly we did it by giving them something, a lollipop, and then taking it away. Some would just cry for no reason — my daughter did that; she didn't like standing on the apple box I used for a platform because it was a little wobbly. Some just wouldn't cry at all. For all the kids, I worked really fast. We would book 12 or so for one day, and see who we could make cry. At the end of the day I was not in a good mood. I don't like making little kids cry."
Schneider has equal — or more — disdain for bad pop-culture influences, like slutty girl clothes at Old Navy and the Bratz dolls, which make Barbie look downright prudish.
"Bratz dolls are acceptable, makeup for kids is acceptable, but my naked picture isn't?" she asks.
When the London press made such a big deal out of the fact that she was showing the world naked pictures of Madeleine, Schneider says she really didn't worry at all about pedophiles sneaking into the house late at night.
"My biggest fear, my deepest fear, was that this controversy was going to make Madeleine feel ashamed of her body," she says. "That's part of what the pictures are; they love their bodies. That would have been the dereliction of the parental duty."
And Schneider acknowledges that she does have a duty, on many fronts. She admits that Madeleine is a pleaser, that she wants to make her mother happy. She knows the power she holds as her mother.
Sherrie Medina, who among other things is a curator and artist in Phoenix (and one of those people Schneider complains is always leaving town — Medina's soon off to Chicago), says of Schneider, "She's had to really, really think about her work in ways that a lot of people don't have to. I really admire that."
Ekeberg says he's never had a moment of regret over the project.
"The way it has evolved, with the kids being in control of whether to keep it up and willing to engage in the work, is good," Schneider's husband says. "They have to be part of any decision process with regard to the work, anyway. More than 10 years of daily photos of someone is quite unique, and it's a great thing to have; even if the kids deny any public presentation of it, the pictures are still there for us."
It's a hot Tuesday morning in June, and Schneider's taking the "Photo of the Day." Ekeberg gets out the camera to photograph a New Times photographer photographing Schneider photographing Madeleine.
As Schneider had described it, it's over before it feels like it should have started. Looking bored, Madeleine crashes on the couch with a book about flags. Viktor runs around the house with his blue plastic camera. Viktor Schneider didn't even try to develop the film; he kept opening the back and exposing it, she says.
The four gather for what Schneider thinks must be the first family portrait, ever.
Afterward, Madeleine pauses outside her bedroom door for some questions. (She wasn't so willing; even Ekeberg agreed only if he were to be interviewed via e-mail.)
Why does your mom take your picture?
"I don't know." Pause. "She wants to see the difference. You can see it yearly, how I dress, sometimes, but it's mostly how I grow up, sort of. The difference."
Do you like it?
"I don't know." Pause. "It's cool looking at them, but it's routine."
This is far from being ART; she wanted to get reactions. I would never take a photo like this one which is personal to the child himself, and this woman lacked the respect to her son and dignity. She definitely has a big problem!
There is a HUGE difference between child porn and art. Child porn is the way of destroying the innocence in a child, nude child art is showing people how pure and innocent a child really is. You see children don't think of nudity as being perveted, they just think of it as part of the body that should be respected. At a certain point that purity is lost through things we see and do. Nude art is a way of preserving this, it's a way of saying "My body is a temple of beauty". I feel and pray for those of you who shun the expression of body and soul through the purity of a child.
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." That's a well-accepted, if trite, statement. Equally true is that prurient interest is almost everywhere for those determined to find it. (Prurience, by the way, is one of the cornerstones of defining pornography - nudity has nothing whatsoever to do with it.) What I read here is disheartening - that there can be so many perverts passing themselves off as moral watchdogs. Get a grip, people - a picture of a nude child engaged in non-sexual activity will not bring pedophiles beating a path to her/his doorstep. There are kids in every neighborhood; why should the fact that a mother sees her daughter naked make anyone think that the daughter is available? The United States is a sad country in its approach to the human body - God's gift to us. We continue to see nudity as perversion, to the point where the decades-old Coppertone suntan lotion ad with the dog is baring the bottom of a topless 3-year old had to be redrawn (relatively recently) to show less skin! (The girl was the daughter of the artist...sound familiar?)
A little reality: --nudity is NOT obscene, pornographic, or perverted - it is the natural state of the human being, no matter what the age. --pornography does not increase sex crimes (actually the opposite) - witness Scandinavian statistics.--except in obvious hard-core images, 99% of prurience is in the mind of the viewer - NOT inherent in the image.
When (and if) we grow up, perhaps we will be able to reduce the number of pedophiles in our society, reduce the number of teenage pregnancies (many because of no knowledge of sexual practices), and increase the self-confidence of people who are not ashamed of their bodies yet today are made to feel that they should be.
Most of all, perhaps we can eliminate the so-called Moral Majority (who are neither) and let rational thought rule our lives.
To Mary K.
You are responsible for the safety of your kids. How other people think is up to them? That statement is absurd! Any pedophile could look up her name, find her address and then go target her children. It is that easy on the internet! You obviously don't have children. If you do, I feel sorry for them! Your an idiot!
For those of you who see a problem with this work, chances are you know very little about art. I don't care if you are a professional photographer or a mother or whatever. You still clearly do not understand the intentions of this artist if you continue to call it pornography. Since when did taking a picture of your child each day to document growth and time become a crime? If anything you people should be arguing over whether or not this is art vs. science. Not art vs. porn. Notice that the police are not interested in this. Only the media and ignorant people like those of you who see this as some sort of pornography seem to care. And guess what! You're opinion doesn't matter anyway, because it's not like you go to gallery shows and actually take part in the art world today. Find something better to do than slander an influential photographer and ASU teacher.
THE FOLLOWING ARE THE OPINIONS BASED ON KNOWN FACTS OF EQUITY COURT SERVICES OF ARIZONA.
We respect the opinions of ERINN and All, and some here agree, BUT you must understand that the police and prosecuters are threatening New Times and the photographer with PROSECUTION and POSSIBLE JAIL or PRISON, in that they apparently are trying to trump up a Class 2 felony.
So, we move from a MORAL issue to a LEGAL one, where malicious, retaliatory, selective prosecutions are ILLEGAL and ACTIONABLE by New Times, Amy, and the photographer/artist.
Looking further, sometimes corrupt politicos order their "goons," the prosecuters, cops, and others, to pursue their political agendas in an illegal criminal prosecution or slander campaign.
Regarding Mayor Goober, we have submitted the following to the biggest and most well-respected law schools in this Nation. We also want your opinions, so comment here and write: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We commented in Sarah's blog also:
"THE FOLLOWING AND ALL OTHER BLOG POSTS AND COMMENTARY HEREIN AND ELSEWHERE ARE THE OPINIONS BASED ON KNOWN FACTS OF EQUITY COURT SERVICES OF ARIZONA.
Thanks again, Sarah, for the valuable information. As suspected, these dirtbag politicos are not representing the people. Nothing new, but the intentional and malicious STIFLING of popular sentiment is SCARY.
The courts, as bad as they are, appear to be the only place to turn. Therefore, we are "fine-tuning" our investigation of possible DIRECT involvement of City of Phoenix officials in the subjugation of the people's voice. Again, scary stuff.
The following is being analyzed by some Legal Clinics at some of this Nation's BIGGEST and MOST WELL-RESPECTED law schools. We emphasize that we HAVE NOT AND WILL NOT bother sending this to ASU Law. We actually like ASU, even ASU Law, but isn't it funny that many of these local corrupt, lying thugs attended ASU and/or ASU Law School.
Remember that convicted first degree murderer and dope-dealing punk HAMM, the bum who had the nerve to try to get admitted to the Arizona Bar AFTER he did 20 years and graduated from ASU Law? Fortunately, the Arizona Supreme Court told him to take a hike.
Here's what's being analyzed and we ask, "Should Goober aka "Mayor Chickenshit," aka "Front Porch Bench" be charged criminally, named as defendant civilly, recalled, impeached, or even praised?" We leave the praise option for those of you who favor this type of government and mayor. hey, it's a free country.
Our letter to the Law Clinics:
"Dr. Rooney, Esq.
Here's a pertinent timeline of events leading up to this mess:
1. Mid-November, 2007 - due to serious violent crimes committed against innocent peopleby DOCUMENTED illegals (whether they were/are Hispanic, Irish, or from Jupiter - it's IMMATERIAL), EQUITY COURT SERVICES OF ARIZONA files a series of complaints with the US Attorney and ICE (see attached).
2. After these complaints were filed, telephone harassment and threats of prosecution ESCALATE against Bill Stoller by a self-identified "Police Cadet" named JAMES SMOKE and Police Assistant VICKI ROLLINGER. Their behavior amounted criminal behavior as defined by the applicable Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 13.
Of course, our complaints to the Phoenix PD were ignored. Further, Phoenix Gang Unit Detective MALDONADO continues to harass EQUITY and Mr. Stoller and unduly delays and censors alleged "police reports" filed against them by ROLLINGER, SMOKE, et. al.
3. On January 28, 2008, Mr. Stoller files a Title 42, 1983 and action to enjoin an illegal State prosecution against The Phoenix City Prosecuters, Vicki Rollin, and The State of Arizona.
4. In early April, 2008, Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon writes a very weak and mostly undocumented complaint to the US Attorney seeking an investigation into alleged "racial profiling" by Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Note that we specifcally had mentioned calling Arpaio's hotline in November due to the Phoenix PD's and Mayor Gordon's complete inaction and negligence, even after a deported illegal killed Phoenix police Officer Erkle and after we had repeatedly reported serious, violent crimes committed by people we absolutely KNEW were illegal. Again, it doesn't matter whether they were Irish, italian, Hispanic, or whatever.
5. May, 2008 - Attorney Michael Manning files Title 42,1983, gross negligence and other claims against the City of Phoenix, Police Chief Jack Harris, and other defendants, on behalf of the Gotbaum kids and Carol Gotbaum's estate.
6. July, 2008 - JESSIKA (JESSICA) RODRIGUEZ, former "right hand woman" to Gordon, files what we maintain is a frivolous, retaliatory, malicious, and baseless Civil Rights complaint in US District Court Phoenix. Note that back in November/December Mr. Stoller and others had informally noticed Rodriguez and the Mayor that they planned to file a civil rights complaint(s).
7. January, 2008, et. seq. - EQUITY COURT SERVICES OF ARIZONA was trying to assist distraught American citizens, some homeless Veterans, who complained to EQUITY about illegally being denied menial jobs at McDonald's, North 7th Avenue and West Van Buren, Phoenix and elsewhere (see attached). EQUITY then joined the AFL-CIO as an associate to gain available assistance from the unions.
We are starting to see a disturbing pattern of what we feel is retribution by a desperate and scared Mayor Gordon and the City of Phoenix when they know they're on the verge of being held accountable. Please investigate.
Thank you for your assistance.
Staff and Associates of
EQUITY COURT SERVICES OF ARIZONAWORLD WITHOUT WIRES
All commentary to: email@example.com - cited documents will be E-mailed to you. "Hard copies" sent at cost, no profit to us.
Vaya con Dios, amigos!
I do not see the art in this work at all. It is exploitation of these innocent children. Sure, every mother has a few pictures where the kids have ripped off their clothes and decided to run around, but those are kept away as a memory and can be pulled out for a good chuckle later on in life. However, posing your child routinely and MAKING them undress with little to no regard as to how they feel about advertising their bodies infront of the WORLD is wrong. Nudity does not automatically mean pornography, however, there are certain guidelines you have to stay within to keep it tasteful and artistic. Regardless of her intent there are too many sick, disturbed people out there that will consider this pornographic and get their jollies off of this.
Even the child does not seemed pleased about it...almost brainwashed. When asked if she liked what her mother was doing her response was "I don't know [...] it's routine." The entire thing is incredibly disheartening and Ms. Schneider should truly reevaluate her work and her intentions. As an artist there are always boundaries to be pushed but this has entirely crossed the line.
For those of you who are calling it pornography, I issue a challenge: go see it for yourself. Then go purchase two magazines: one fashion and one pornographic. CRITICALLY examine the images and compare them to Betsy's photographs of her daughter. I think you'll find that it is nothing at all similar to what the uninformed persons of the Panic Culture are calling it. Also, ask yourself why the images make you feel uncomfortable - and then question the influences that cause you to think that way. Don't be a bleating sheep and screaming BUT WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN?!? These kids are probably far more well adjusted than the typical child that's so full of anti-depressants and adderall that America seems to be producing.
THE FOLLOWING AND ALL OTHER BLOG POSTS AND COMMENTARY ARE THE OPINIONS OF EQUITY COURT SERVICES OF ARIZONA BASED ON KNOWN FACTS.
We are standing moot on the issue of whether it's MORALLY CORRECT for a mother to publish photos of her children in the media.
But we're not talking about morals here. We're talking about the Police Department with a "Police Chief" named as one of the many Defendants in a Federal wrongful death and negligence lawsuit. And allegedly corrupt cops that can be easily exposed in the press, whether it's New Times of The New York Times.
I'd say we have some ulterior motives for BOTH Candy and Phoenix to file false, malicious, politically-motived, and baseless charges. Feedback welcome to firstname.lastname@example.org
Let's thank New Times for protecting our cherished First Amendment rights. If the wannabe Phoenix City Prosecuters or any "Candy" men out there try to file BOGUS, RETALIATORY, FALSE, and MALICIOUS charges against New Times and others, fight it by sending an AMICUS CURIAE brief to the presiding judge(s).
Learn about your RIGHT to file an amicus curiae brief. See
http://topics.law.cornell.edu/... . Of course, your legal points have to be "on point," so do your homework.
We have given New Times, Amy Silverman, Ms. Schneider our full support. Here's part of a recent letter to the NEW TIMES FREEDOM FIGHTERS:
"We all were cracking up when we read about the further DESPERATE attempts by the wannabe prosecuters to charge New Times, et. al. with child pornography. We will assist and mention that in our lawsuits and complaints to the Bar. Consider yourselves exonerated New Times and Amy Silverman.
We'll get the name of any lying Phoenix prosecuters who file a malicious complaint in that and proceed accordingly.
This is turning out to be a comedy routine that truly makes Phoenix and Maricopa County look like "Gooberville, RFD!"
Wish John Dougherty were here! "
See if you can find a law firm that will take a class action against these corrupt thugs in office (or is that orifice in their cases?). Sorry - they bring out the vulgarity in us.
For starters, the City University of New York Law Clinic does pro bono work and is already looking at some Phoenix issues related to the corrupt abuse of poer in BOTH the City of phoenix and maricopa County. Call V. Hill 1-718-340-4300 or E-mail: email@example.com.
In and For Justice.
Staff and Associates of
EQUITY COURT SERVICES OF ARIZONAWORLD WITHOUT WIRES
"There is a reason photographs depicting full frontal nudity of minors is illegal."
Except it's not. Child pornography is illegal. Nudity is not pornography.
"The fact is, every pervert in the country knows where to go find naked pics of kids for the next few weeks."
I'm sure every pervert in the country knows where to go to find naked pics of kids on the internet, 24/7, without having to go to an art gallery. And they can view them in the privacy of their own home too, without having to live anywhere near the museum. Please, think about your argument before you make it.
It doesn't matter what I think about the piece. It doesn'tmatter if I like or dislike it. The fact is, every pervert in the country knows where to go find naked pics of kids for the next few weeks. There is a reason photographs depicting full frontal nudity of minors is illegal. Again the artist failed to achieve her intent because she did not take into account the societal view of this depiction. No matter how much you want these images to be nothing more then fine art, society says otherwise."cognitive disassociation," look it up. Every artist who claims to apply meaning to their art should be familiar with this trap. I would hope that the Board of Regents is exploring possible diciplinary action. No matter how you look at this it is foolish to even play with this. Take a look at the woman in texas who was charged and prosecuted for images of her breast feeding. http://www.reviewjournal.com/l... kind of an old case, but it tells the story.
Whilst I agree with the writer that The Sun newspaper is a nasty little tabloid, it still made a very good point.
But sadly, yet again, Arizona shows itself to be the kiddy-porn capital of the USA.
Dear stupid people,Nudity is not pornography. Her pictures are not pornographic. Just because you find a sexual element in them doesn't mean they are sexual. And personally, you're the perverted ones for finding sex where there is none.
This has to be one of the most offensive shows I have seen. While the child porn is offensive in and of itself, (if a man did this and put it on the wall he would already be in jail.) The lack of creativity from a tenured professor is even more so. This is 2008 not 1988. Shock art is so pass e. Meaning can not be removed from the context in which it is presented. That includes the perspective of the viewer. What were you thinking? �cognitive disassociation?�
Arrest her! This is porn, plain and simple. The children have a right to privacy and are too young to choose. How many pedophiles are now searching for prey!She needs to register as a sex offender also. Nor does the little girl look to happy. This family needs to be investigated.
Firstly, pornography is defined as "any pictures, writings, drawings or similar media which contains sexual material for viewing". How can you post that girl on the cover of your magazine. Child pornography is something that should be punished to the fullest extent of the law, no matter what she claims. She claims that it's "art" and the "photo of the day". It's still porn. I don't understand what she could be thinking when she does this. Maybe it is "art" however posting it on the internet is a whole other story. She should first research it to make sure it's not going to get her into legal trouble. Then if she wants to open an exhibit or something, be my guest however she DID happen to get in trouble with the police not once but TWICE. That's a lack of planning and research. I think she shouldn't be taking nude photos of her children. If she deems it appropriate, so be it. I'll let the police figure that out for themselves, however, posting on the internet of these children is completely inappropriate and she deserves whatever she gets! but seriously, WHY post on the magazine cover that picture of the girl? That alone made me turn away in disgst but out of pure curiosity, i read the article and then immmediately trashed the magazine (after reading the bird and booze pig, of course. didnt see ask a mexican, though. odd). anyways, that's just uncalled for to print all those pictures in the magazine. it burns the eyes of those that don't care to see it.
How sad that some people still see nudity equated with sex. It's likely that many of these people would be still burning books and banning some of our greatest artists if they had their way.We should not judge our writers or artists on what some degenerate reader or viewer may make of a work of literature or art. Do we really wish to live in a society that only allows things to be produced which are acceptable to every taste, culture, religion and personal value system?I have three children of my own and based on the photos shown I would have trouble understanding how anyone, other than someone pre-disposed to seeing all photos of children as sexual, could find these pictures obscene by any rational definition.
You should have NEVER published these photo's. This women is sick. Children are beautiful and innocent. She is taking that innocence and taking advantage of it. It is disgusting. These kids had NO SAY in their images being published for all the world to see. Sick. New Times, I have been a long time reader and supporter, but this was horrible judgment on your part.
Your publication is just as sick and twisted as this stupid lady who calls this art. You should have NEVER published these pictures in your magazine! Your publication crossed the line big time! and I pray that someway, somehow, your shut down!
Does she not understand that some people might find this a different type of art? or am I getting to old and didn't know when this became art?
is this the only type of art she could come up with her kids.....nude?
c'mon kids take off your clothes i need to take a few pictures...SICKO!!!
If a man were the one taking the pictures, he would be in jail. This woman is wrong. Plain wrong. Thanks for exposing this crazy.
To say I was shocked by both the content and how much paper was wasted in this whole article is an understatement. This is child porn pure and simple. And what's with the spread leg shots? How could this be called art in any fashion? Being a pro photographer by trade I really see no art content in these pictures at all. They are exploitation and hide themselves in freedom of speech. And to learn she is a teacher shocks me even more. A child is innocent and should be kept that way for as long as possible. I am sure her daughter did not come up with the idea. It is artists such as this that hide behind the constitution that give a bad flavor to really good artists. She has crossed the line and deserves to face the facts. She is aiding and abetting child porn. Seeing these images has made me sick to my stomach, and I feel nothing but pity for her children, who have to grow up with their naked images in every pedophiles collection. I am liberal and most things do not bother me. But I think I will go throw up to help with this sickened feeling I have.
how does she stay not locked up? That is asking a sick bastard to seek her out because of those photos........
I think if the world was innocent it would be fine but there are to many pedophiles who look at this stuff and get off on it. These pictures are the same as child pornography and I don�t care how beautiful they are I wouldn�t expose my child like that. I think they should be kept to yourself if you want to take those kinds of pictures of your kids. I think they should have never been issued in a public magazine. TOO MANY SICKOS!!!!
As a creative person, I believe that my motive is all-important. This artist's motive is to create art... a pornographer's motive is to create prurient interest.
We as artists are not responsible for other people's reactions. --MaryK
I dont see no problems with her art.