Metropolitan police in London have removed a nude childhood photo of actress Brooke Shields, entitled Spiritual America, from an art exhibit called Pop Life: Art in A Material World at the Tate Modern.
Artist Richard Prince‘s image is of a Garry Gross photo taken in 1975, and commissioned by Teri Shields when her daughter was 10-years-old. The shot, intended to enhance the child’s career, showed her standing in a bathtub while wearing heavy makeup, with her skin oiled up and in a provocative pose.
London police were alerted by Kidscape, a group that campaigns against child abuse in the U.K. The group feared that the exhibit could be a “magnet” for pedophiles.
Photographer Gross, 71, said he never considered the photo pornographic but acknowledges that “she was supposed to look like a sexy woman.” He went on to say, “The photo has been infamous from the day I took it and I intended it to be.”
Shields career was managed by her mother, who allowed her to play a child who lived in a brothel in the 1978 film Pretty Baby, which included several nude scenes. She was eleven when the movie was filmed. Other provocative films included Wanda Nevada and Blue Lagoon.
Brooke was the youngest model to ever appear on the cover of Vogue at age 14 and also appeared that same year in a controversial print and TV ad for Calvin Klein jeans, with the tag line “You want to know what comes between me and my Calvin’s? Nothing.”
See Brooke Shields photos below – click to expand.