David Hamilton (b. London, 15 April 1933) is a British photographer and film director best known for his nude images of young girls.
As much of Hamilton's work depicts early-teen girls, often nude, he has been the subject of some controversy including child pornography allegations, similar to that which the work of Sally Mann and Jock Sturges have attracted. Several of Hamilton's books were banned in South Africa for moral reasons. In the late 1990s, conservative Christian groups in America protested unsuccessfully against bookstores that stocked Hamilton's photography books.
As The Guardian wrote, "Hamilton's photographs have long been at the forefront of the 'is it art or pornography?' debate."
In 2005, a man was convicted for being in possession of 19,000 images of children, including photos by Hamilton. The images were found to be in the lowest indecency rating. In response, Glenn Holland, Hamilton's spokesman, stated: "We are deeply saddened and disappointed by this, as David is one of the most successful art photographers the world has ever known. His books have sold millions". Following the conviction, a member of the Surrey Police in Britain stated that possessing Hamilton books was now illegal in the UK. Surrey Police later made a formal apology for this statement and admitted that no legally binding decision had been made on the work of David Hamilton.
In 2010, a man was convicted of level 1 child pornography for owning four books, including Hamilton's The Age of Innocence as well as Still Time by Sally Mann, which he purchased from a bookstore in Walthamstow, London. His conviction was overturned on appeal in 2011, with the judge calling his conviction "very unfair" and criticising the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for prosecuting him. The judge concluded that "If the (CPS) wishes to test whether the pictures in the books are indecent, the right way to deal with the matter is by way of prosecuting the publisher or retailer – not the individual purchaser."
On Saturday 22 October 2016, in the French talk-show Salut les Terriens ! on TNT C8 channel, the anchor host Thierry Ardisson gave the name of David Hamilton as the presumed rapist of now radio RTL presenter Flavie Flament. According to Mrs Flament these facts would have been commited when she was 13 years old, in Cap d'Agde (Hérault, South of France). They are now largely reported in her book La consolation, specially written and published on the subject, and in social media like Twitter.
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