'Obscene' art goes on the block for £15k



2015-06-26 11:54:07

'Obscene' art goes on the block for 15k

Oz, the controversial and pioneering '70s style magazine, will feature in two Bonhams sales

"I sat naked on a chair as David Hockney, his eyes huge through pop specs, coolly appraised my loins. I felt shy and under equipped."

So wrote the editor of counter-culture magazine Oz, Richard Neville, about his experience sitting for Hockney's drawing, Richard Neville Naked, which is up for auction at Bonhams as part of its Post War and Contemporary Art and Design sale on March 10.

 Modesty intact: this imageby David Hockney was drawn to raise funds for his 1971obscenity trial

The picture (estimated at10,000-15,000) was used, alongside drawings of Neville's co-editors Jim Anderson and Felix Dennis, to raise funds for the Oz obscenity trial in 1971.

The trail followed the prosecution of Neville, Anderson and Dennis for publishing a sexual Rupert Bear cartoon parody in an issue of the magazine edited by a group of school kids.

It is not known what has happened to the pictures of Anderson and Dennis.

Hockney was one of dozens of artists who donated works to the Oz defence fund. The original drawings of the editors naked were put up for auction at the time, along with numbered lithographs, combined into a triptych.

The trial became a cause clbre, testing boundaries on censorship which had remained largely unchallenged since the Lady Chatterley's Lover court case in the early 1960s.

 Oz made waves with its visually striking graphic art and innovative printing techniques

The three were found guilty and sent to prison where the shaving of their heads caused yet more controversy, though the convictions were later overturned on appeal.

A complete set of the 48 issues of OZ magazine published between 1967 and 1973, including the infamous 'Schoolkids' issue, is also being offered by Bonhams in the Printed Books, Maps and Manuscripts sale on March 23.

The complete set is estimated at 1,000-2,000.

A film based on Neville's memoir, starring Cillian Murphy and Sienna Miller, is due to be released in May.

Image: Bonhams

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