NY Politician Explains Nude Web Pics: 'They're Art'

And not just art, but 'powerful' art, says NY county legislator C. Stephen Eckel
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 7, 2011 1:32 AM CST
Updated Nov 7, 2011 2:30 AM CST
Nude Web Pics Rattle NY Politician
WHAM-TV covers brouhaha over C. Stephen Eckel nude photos.   (whecmicrosites)

Here's a new defense of naked photos by a politician. "They're art," says upstate New York Democratic county legislator C. Stephen Eckel, who also works as a photographer and has taught photography. Eckel, who last week yanked a pair of full frontal shots from his own website, calls the controversy over the photos a distraction. "“They have to resort to these lowdown, slimy tricks. This is just a low attack to put my stuff from an artistic portfolio to be used to smear me," Eckel tells the New York Post. "My integrity as a photographer and as an artist is strong and powerful, and my integrity as a county legislator is strong and powerful."

But his GOP rival Tony Micciche shoots back: "I don't see how anybody can not question the judgment of someone who puts something like this up on a website, especially where there's no safeguards for children to be protected from it." It's the first time there's been a flap about the photos, which were taken and posted 11 years ago when Eckel was getting his MFA. WHAM-TV reports the shots were "presented as art," and Gawker calls them "pretentious." What the public thinks will likely be obvious in tomorrow's re-election vote. (More C. Stephen Eckel stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.