Monday, January 21, 2013

Trying to solicit a purposeful reaction in defence of artist Bernard Myburgh

Open letter to the artistic communities

Artist Bernard Myburgh, born in South Africa, now Dutch and living in Amsterdam, still hasn't been acquitted of child pornography charges and thus, I'm trying to solicit a balanced and constructive, but nevertheless resolute, immediate and urgent reaction, in defence of him, specially from artistic communities, to which the artist, morally, by talent and profession, rightfully belongs.

To this end, I sent a second letter via e-mail to whom it may concern to art schools in Europe - Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, France, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, England, Germany, Greece, Norway, Estonia, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Netherlands, Wales, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Croatia, Cyprus, Turkey, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Poland, Lithuania, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Scotland, Ukraine - and Canada - Qu├ębec.

Art indeed knows and has no borders, and belongs to the whole of humanity.

Key issues, in my opinion, on which to take a stand, are, the affirmation of the right to artistic expression in the context of the right to freedom of expression provided for in article 10 of the European convention for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, the reality of the fact that the right to artistic expression is not explicitly protected by a provision in the Dutch constitution and the acceptability of the fact that government officials without specific skills in the field of art, history and culture may judge and establish only on their own views and convictions what is art and what is not and degrade works of art rich in expressive power and poetry to mere pornographic objects without artistic significance and "order the destruction by fire of the paintings".

Everyone know that without effective support this thing will definitely take place.












































For the time being, the court ordered the withdrawal from circulation, and not the destruction, of the confiscated, not returned paintings. But where are the paintings now? Are they being stored in a safe place? Were they being preserved in good condition since when they were confiscated years ago? And how will they be preserved in the future? In the absence of air conditioned premises, the works of art are subjected to the risk of mould and rot due to lack of air flow and ventilation; in case of incorrect handling they are subjected to the risk of damages due to mechanical, thermal, chemical, photochemical stresses.

While awaiting the final verdict of the Supreme Court or else the subsequent ultimate verdict of the European Court of Human Rights, the works of arts ought be preserved in perfect conditions to be returned to the artist or to be archived and preserved forever for historic purposes for future generations by government approved official institutions.

The artistic communities' position, whatever it is, on this issue, is crucial, and with their permission, I will publish their answers in a post, or possibly instead they will post comments here; in the meantime I'll keep updating the list of the countries.

"Dear Sirs and Madams, Bernard Myburgh is a valuable Dutch artist who draws and paints young men and boys. He still hasn't been acquitted of the charges of creating child pornography (paintings and drawings), of being in possession of child pornography (his own work) and of distributing child pornography (placing his artworks on his website fore sale). The verdict of the Appeal Court in Prinsengracht in Amsterdam was announced on January 9, 2013 and the case was filed under the name Myburgh/Meredith. The Appeal Court has upheld the original verdict of the District Court. “Guilty of producing, possession of, and distribution of child pornography”. The artist will now appeal the decision to the Supreme Court. The question is, is artist Benard Myburgh a test case designed to create a new legal precedent and what impact would an unfavorable outcome of the Supreme Court case have on artistic freedom and independence of art and culture? Surely the artistic community of Holland is defending him publicly? In the event of an unfavorable outcome of the Supreme Court judgment, the artist's artwork would be physically destroyed. Any comments, suggestions and ideas from your side concerning artist's case will be highly appreciated and I'd also welcome your thoughts and points of view on how should the issue be addressed in the near future. There are in fact artist's demands and society's demands that are apparently only in conflict with each other: both for the artist and for society, are both the right to artistic expression and the duty to protect children fundamental principles. What is, then, the problem? I look forward to hearing from you. Very truly yours, Mario Rossi."



 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Artist Bernard Myburgh still not yet acquitted of child pornography charges

Appeal Court verdict, Amsterdam, January 9, 2013

Letter sent via email to whom it may concern to artistic communities, human rights organizations, and professionals committed on criminological research:

Dear Sirs and Madams, Bernard Myburgh is a valuable Dutch artist who draws and paints young men and boys. He still hasn't been acquitted of the charges of creating child pornography (paintings and drawings), of being in possession of child pornography (his own work) and of distributing child pornography (placing his artworks on his website fore sale). The verdict of the Appeal Court in Prinsengracht in Amsterdam was announced on January 9, 2013 and the case was filed under the name Myburgh/Meredith. The Appeal Court has upheld the original verdict of the District Court. “Guilty of producing, possession of, and distribution of child pornography”. The artist will now appeal the decision to the Supreme Court. The question is, is artist Benard Myburgh a test case designed to create a new legal precedent and what impact would an unfavorable outcome of the Supreme Court case have on artistic freedom and independence of art and culture? Surely the artistic community of Holland is defending him publicly? Very truly yours, Mario Rossi.

Yesterday, Bernard Myburgh let me know about the outcome of the Appeal Court case:

Hello there, the verdict: the Appeals Court has upheld the original verdict of the District Court. “Guilty of producing, possession of, and distribution of child pornography”. My paintings are considered to be too realistic for them not to be judged “child pornography”, and should therefore be destroyed. This judgment was not unexpected, although the sense of defeat is still enormous. We of course will appeal this decision and it will now go to the Supreme Court for their ruling. This could take up to a year or longer, but it will at least give the destruction of the paintings a stay of execution for that period. I thank you and all those that offered their support for my case. What more can be done..., Bernard.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bernard Myburgh: an artist ahead of his time

Aim of the blog

The aim of the present short and silent blog is to give the opportunity to the visitors to have a quick look to the artworks of the artist (now Dutch) Bernard Myburgh, to read a short biography about him and to gather further information by accessing the link to the official website of the artist and the links to the art websites who promote his work.


Preface

A few weeks ago while surfing the internet I had the opportunity to see some beautiful drawings and paintings of men and angels. As usual, as I came upon artistic works of such wonderment - deeply touching my sensitivity and emotion - I started a search on the web in order to find out the name of the author and to find additional pictures of his artworks and news… and at first, it was not easy.

Rather than finding websites outlining the art of the author on a rational and objective basis or subjective and emotional but not agitated, I read on the web paltry, shameful and infamous statements gratuitously thrown by emotive persons against the author.

The internet, unlike the real world, is unfortunately still a place where some individual people are allowed to shout with no reason whatever they want against anyone and most people passively hear without calling for calm and demanding explanation.

There are shallow people who pass judgment and misrepresent the reality, on the web. There are nasty people who try their hardest to hide information and to avert efforts. Most of people get exhausted and confused and renounce forming own opinion.

All those not-entitled people setting themselves as the ultimate authority or “correct thinker” who shout inappropriate and outrageous words thus showing a person, an artist, a gentleman in a negative light and who deliberately filter, shape and falsify the knowledge thus disallowing others to form a valid opinion, consciously harm the image of a person who is uncommon and steal richness and resources to ordinary people.

For such a people violence is commonplace.
Bernard Myburgh, per contra, is not used to shout.
Links to violent-shouting people, although they exist, will not be reported here.


Bernard Myburgh short biography






















Bernard Myburgh was born in 1951 in South Africa to a musician Mother (Concert Pianist) and an Engineer Father. He spent the rest of his life being an artist in one form or another. He taught himself to draw at a very early age and he found encouragement from an artist neighbour who recognized his obvious talent.

Throughout his teens he struggled with school authorities who would rather have him learning history and math than his preferred love of drawing and art, often skipping classes to be found in an art library copying and studying the Great Master of art.



Bernard Myburgh’s art work

No words can describe Bernard Myburgh’s artworks better then these: very virtuoso, perfectly crafted realistic but erotic drawings and paintings of men and angels.

Drawings of men

Bernard Myburgh is a coherent, proud, straightforward, valuable homosexual artist. He expresses his art by following his natural orientation. His extensive collection of drawings depict in a very realistic way adult men, often nude men even in form of sexually explicit nudity and sexually explicit conduct. Just a few example of his beautiful artworks are reported below.


Untitled 1

 





Untitled 2






Untitled 3
 
  


Paintings of angels

A completely different approach entirely separated from the rest, applies of course to the paintings of angels that nothing have to do with the world of the adults. Here the characters are young boys who take form and materialize by being the outcome of the mere outstanding wild imagination of the artist as no young boy has ever modeled for him. Via a near-photographic technique these young boys are portrayed in a vivid and magic world which solely belongs to them. A their own exclusive world made of unaware beauty and intense friendship captured forever from afar in admirable fashion by Bernard Myburgh.



Cloudboy






Red-haired angel






Pale youth



Golden God Award

I don’t feel I have high enough expertise and the required skillfulness for describing by myself further and deeper and in a sufficiently revealing and expressive way the prodigious and spectacular art of Bernard Myburgh.

High-profile influential people such as Ad Schuring in particular, who is well-informed and receptive to new and different ideas and the opinions of others and fully understanding of the craft, of the magnitude and of the extent of the art in all its aspects, do it at a much more communicative and effective level.

Ad Schuring is board member of a foundation that deals with promotion, rights and interests of artists in the field of gay art and the links to his web sites are listed below along with the link to the artist’s website.

Bernard Myburgh was chosen by Ad Schuring and his staff on the their web site “Delftboys - Homo Art Collection” in the year 2011 being an artist who had done something really special for homo culture and being the most special contributor to the community of the moment.

As some of Bernard Myburgh’s artwork were then, as they still are today, under threat of being destroyed (please read Ad Schuring’s comment to child porn hysteria on this matter), the superb drawing technique of the artist was honored on one of the most qualified and populated art-site in the world with the highest distinction in homo-art: the Golden God Award.


Links, disclaimer and advice

Sexually explicit nudity and sexually explicit conduct are also the subject matter of many of the artworks whose images are shown on the web sites to which hereinafter references are made via links. Descriptions, historical references and topical issues as well as facts, comments and opinions, are included on the web pages alongside images of the artworks.

The content of these pages is hence culture but, however, may still trouble some people and may be inappropriate for reading and for watching by persons too young or by those not specifically interested in contemporary homosexual art, gay art historical research and discussion about artistic trends and civil society response.

My goal is to provide information, not to offend anyone. By clicking the button “GO TO THE LINKS PAGE” below, you are affirming that you have read this disclaimer and are proceeding as an informed web user. If any part of this disclaimer causes you to question whether you should proceed, simply click the button “EXIT MY WEB SITE” and browse elsewhere for other material.


         GO TO THE LINKS PAGE                      EXIT MY WEBSITE

If you wish, before taking a decision, you can first read the next paragraph that is an overview of what to expect to encounter by visiting the websites.


Informed decisions

Those people who, by clicking the button “GO TO THE LINKS PAGE” have visited artist’s Bernarb Myburg website and Ad Schuring’s art websites, acquired a huge cultural richness. They have known an extraordinary talented artist and an art critic with an exceptional expertise.


On the official website of the artist they took a closer look at his work and they probably got in touch with him. They asked the artist to send them the enlargement of images of some of those wonderful hand-drawn drawings made by using fine hatching no finger smudging technique by using very sharp black and white pencils on mostly gray paper or they admired on the site the enlargements of images of those amazing paintings of angels made via a near-photographic technique or also they received from the artist images of other outstanding artworks that are not published on the site.

Thanks to him, these people discovered a fantastic world they didn’t know before.

Afterwards they widened their horizons further by visiting art web sites that talk about Bernard Myburg and there they met Ad Schuring and they visited art galleries together with him. They read carefully about homo culture, art-censorship, copyright and they listened with interest to strong constructive criticism comments to the institutions. In a world open to new and different opinions they found themselves face to face with people very different from them. They brought their sensibilities face to face with those of others, with an open mind and willingness. They had to came face to face with themselves and their own consciousness. With an emotion of detachment and of involvement, and not necessarily of sharing of sensibilities that do not belong to them, they understood the importance of doing everything in their power to defend the rights of minorities, whatever they are and whoever they are, as long as they behave in a non-violent way and stay within the law.

Thanks to Ad Schuring and his staff, they understood that the real enemies to fight in the field of art as well as in everyday life, are the power of stupidity and the violence of silence. These people and me have learned a lot from Bernard Myburgh and Ad Schuring, and to know means to learn to know, to perceive and see, to recognize, to know by experience, to have knowledge, to find out and discern, to discriminate, to distinguish … yes, to distinguish. To know means to be capable of distinguishing. To know means to be capable of distinguishing between good and evil.

Those people who, by not clicking the button “GO TO THE LINKS PAGE” did not visit artist’s Bernarb Myburgh website and Ad Schuring’s art websites – and they didn’t for the only reason that they think they are things that do not belong to them and therefore will never affect them – took a decision that they felt they had to, and I respect it.

However, I wish and I feel compelled to bring to their attention the following text, attributed to the German theatre practitioner Bertold Brecht, that many years ago made me think deeply.


Bertold Brecht 1898 –1956

First they came for the gypsies,
and I was happy because they steal.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I did not speak out because I did not like them.
Then they came for the homosexuals
and I felt relieved because they bothered me.
Then they came for the communists,
and I said nothing because I was not a communist.
One day they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak out for me.



Portrait Bertold Brecht 1954




















(Photo published on line under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Germany license)


Thanks

Thank you to all the people who read my blog and, in particular:

- to the sensitive people who appreciate the values

- to the creative people who give value to ideas

- to the generous people who disseminate ideas and values

Thank you to all the people who are capable of giving.

So thank you Bernard Myburgh …


Untitled 4

                          
Blonde

… thank you indeed for Your art!

Please keep on working hard and keep on fighting! You are not alone!

Congratulations, good luck and keep it up!

Sincerely,

Mario Rossi

Blog's author