To the Editor of the Evening Standard,
I am writing to say how disappointed and disgusted I was to see that you had made the decision to reprint the particle piece in question. It is reprehensible that such a thing could be made and called 'artwork' and the stance taken by the Evening Standard that the image is fine and the policeman in question is prudish is equally disturbing. Frankly, it's good to know there is still a semblance of morality in the police force. The 'fact' that nobody else complained, or that it has been done before, is not proof he was prudish, nor is it an excuse to jump on that bandwagon, it is simply proof that more people are mentally and morally sick, or at least disinterested.
To brand the policeman 'not a classicist' is a) irrelevant and b) slightly classist. I have studied Classics, specialising in Greek civilisation and literature, and yes we know they had many salacious religious ideas that have inspired many an artist. To be true, you could have mentioned it is not an actual swan in the myth, it is Zeus, and he raped Leda. This 'artwork' however is painting the picture that the woman is compliant, and that it is acceptable to both parties, therefore making light of real issues surrounding animal abuse and sexual perversion.
The impact of the original myth is hugely different to the interpretation made by this 'artist'. The impact of photography is greater than that of the written word, or of painting, which lessens the impact of the myth's most offensive characteristic. Photography, especially its links with pornography is pscychologically proven to create a deeper impact on our minds.
The issue of whether or not it should have been made is one I'd like to take up with the 'artist'. But you had a decision to print or not to print, which is the issue I am raising.
Given that yours is a free newspaper, possibly being seen by the many schoolchildren who use the tube, you really should consider what you print, and not print anything that grooms minds to accept perverse things such as bestiality, which is in fact animal abuse, and illegal. It's a question of responsibility, and the issue of the effect of pornography on the mind, especially children's minds, is currently in the media's eye.
Perhaps if it was another case of perversion and abuse, say, child abuse, the Evening Standard would not feel so at ease to condone it and desensitize all of London, telling them that it is acceptable under the name 'art' or any other disguise.
Kemi Athene Pennicott, Art Student, University of the Arts London