A photographer whose controversial nude picture of a ten-year-old Brooke Shields formed the basis of an artistic work removed from a London exhibition last year on police advice has died.

US fashion photographer Garry Gross died in Manhattan on 30 November aged 73, according to a report published last night by The Associated Press.

In October 2009 a ‘photograph of a photograph’ of Brooke Shields as a child actress, showing her standing naked in a bath in 1975, was removed from the Pop Life: Art in a Material World exhibition at Tate Modern following concerns that it bordered on child pornography.

The controversial work, called Spiritual America 1983 by artist Richard Prince, was replaced by a later version following consultation with Prince.

Photographer Garry Gross was said to have been ‘disappointed’ at the decision to remove the work.

At the time Michele Elliott of Kidscape said: ‘Brooke Shields was 10 years old when this picture was taken. She could not have given informed consent to it being used. It must be bordering on child pornography. It is certainly not art.’

She added: ‘If you are using a naked child to bring people to your exhibition, then you are exploiting that child. It’s as if they are using a 10-year-old for bait. I find it disturbing and they [Tate Modern] should be ashamed of themselves. And putting the picture in a room with a warning outside really is a magnet for paedophiles.’

Before appearing at Tate Modern the image had gone on display at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.


Tate removes nude Brooke Shields photo

Tate Modern to replace controversial image

Police say Brooke Shields nude may break UK law

Met Police speak out on naked Brooke Shields photo