Photographer Damon Baker has responded to controversy ignited by his photos of Brooklyn Beckham (son of footballer David Beckham and “Posh Spice”) holding a gun [via Instagram]. The “offending” photos are no longer on his page.

“Hi My name is Damon and I would like to comment on the recent controversy surrounding my pictures with Brooklyn Beckham. I decided to shoot Brooklyn in a black and white portrait series, in a few of the shots he is photographed with a prop gun. I feel that this creative moment was unfairly seized and exploited to fit the narrative of “Brooklyn Beckham promotes gun violence.”

“It is a sad but true fact of the current world we live in that guns are everywhere. They are in every other Hollywood film, they are on the streets, they are on the fields of the endless wars that our governments have launched. I come from a poor section of Birmingham, England. Where inequality and unemployment are the highest in the country. In these desperate conditions people often turn to crime, guns play a big part here. I’ve seen it first hand.

“I feel that it is the role of art to expose truths about the times we are living in. In these particular pictures I saw Brooklyn as a subject, a model. A blank canvas.

“For me he played a role the same way that a famous actor/actress would play in a gun packed action film or more preferably if they played a role in a film exposing the honest reality of gun violence. When I look at our work I don’t feel that it in any way promotes gun violence as much as it exposes the gun as a tool used to control the masses and uphold a system of oppression.

“That’s why I directed him to point it right at the camera. You may feel triggered, you may even walk away with a different interpretation, but that’s art. If it doesn’t move you, if it doesn’t wake you up, what’s the point? In many ways we are living in dark times, where freedoms and livelihoods are being stripped from the people pretty much at gunpoint. I don’t think it is the job of my generation to sugar coat reality.”

44 Responses to Photographer Damon Baker Defends Brooklyn Beckham’s Gun Pictures

  1. If you are an artist and you have to apologize and cave in to people for your artistic work, sorry, but you are not a real artist.

    I thought the pictures were pretty cool and taken with great taste. Excuse me, but you you are no Ansel Adams or Richard Avedon, they would have never taken their work down to satisfy leftists.

    • Like that guy that did the “Piss Christ” piece. All he did was put a crucifix in a mason jar full of urine. That dude was 100% unapologetic about it when Christians lost their shit over that.

      I think it was a lazy, confrontational attempt at being provocative and I don’t get what is artistic about it at all but damnit that guy stood by it.

      • I’m just waiting to see the tolerant left’s reaction when someone dunks a koran in a pickle jar full of piss and calls it art.

    • Whoa — that definition would put Da Vinci and Michaelangelo in the “not a real artist” category.

      Art is like any other product: you have to cater to your customers, and sometimes that means apologizing for something you bloody well know shouldn’t be apologized for. It also calls for occasional explanations to those too obtuse to understand the value of your product.

  2. Beckham desperately wants to be a photographer/artist. His rise has only been due to his name. His photography is well below par and is on a level with someone who doesn’t know what the exposure triangle is and shoots on auto mode. Now he seems to be trying to cash in on this James Dean rewind trashy fashion trend that has popped up in the last few months and he now wants to be the model instead of the photographer.

    In some ways I feel for this kid, he’s always going to be the son of parents that were famous.

    • I fail to see how your critique of Beckham has any bearing on the photographer commenting on the use of a gun as a prop.

      • It’s about Beckham, and his desire to be an artist of any type. He’ll do anything for press, for shock value, for attention. This is exactly what these photos were meant to do. The photos aren’t about guns (how could you miss that), they are about toying with a media who forgot him months ago when his book flopped and the tour went nowhere. He’s exactly where he wants to be, in the headlines – with a rehash of a James Dean style that should have stayed in history. He’d just as well pose with dead animals, or klansmen if it gets the same shock value.

        As an artist, he sucks and he won’t accept that. He’s trading on a famous name right now. Before you read my post you didn’t even know that Beckham was a wannabe photographer/artist who was failing miserably and was getting roasted by the photography community.

        I can comment on whatever part of the article I choose. I fail to see how you can’t comprehend that fact.

        • Beckham is not the photographer who took the photos or wrote the apology – he’s the subject of them. I think that’s the confusion with your post – it’s got nothing to do with Beckham’s photography or art.

  3. “I feel that this creative moment was unfairly seized and exploited to fit the narrative of “Brooklyn Beckham promotes gun violence.”

    Now Damon knows how we feel when our Constitutional Right, hobby and pastime is is unfairly maligned as a cause of violence.

    • “Now Damon knows how we feel when our Constitutional Right, hobby and pastime is is unfairly maligned as a cause of violence.”

      He may have *thought* he was making a ‘statement’ on guns, but the message he sent with those images are likely the exact *opposite* of what he intended.

      He’s not a bad-looking kid. Young women (and some guys) see him and really like what they see.

      He “tingles women’s tender bits”, so to speak. (and likely some guys who go that way as well).

      The message those photos send is –

      Guns *are* sexy. Guns *are* cool.

      And *that* right there is *why* WE are winning the culture war on guns…

  4. What?!? No apology for the bad trigger discipline or for carrying a 1911 with the hammer down?!?

    What was this supposed to accomplish? Establish the fact that Mr. Beckham is not a gun guy?

    • If you intentionally have your finger on the trigger (on a cleared gun) for the sake of art that IS NOT BAD TRIGGER DISCIPLINE. Hall monitors safety nazis, and range trolls need to lighten up.

      • Wrong, you ALWAYS treat a fire arm as if it is loaded. Ask the folks who accidentally shot themselves because their fire arm was “empty”.

        • Wrong. For art, which includes movies, you can and it has happened “safely” more times than can be counted. I am certain you have watched a movie where people treated a real gun (not just a prop) like it was not loaded. There are some people who do force on force training with blanks and/or simunition. If it is intentional it is not bad discipline trigger or otherwise.

          Who was the last person who got shot on a movie or photo shoot? Brandon Lee? Give up a name if you got one.

          Why don’t you ask Brooklyn, Damon, or anyone of the thousands of people who have done the terrible deed and live to tell the tale?

          I guess the world could not have the now (in)famous “shot Marvin” scene cuz you know safety:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBBni_-tMNs

          Spoiler alert: the actor playing Marvin did not really get shot. BTW thanks for outing yourself 🙂

  5. The photog is right. If he wants to use Douche Spice as the subject of his artistic expression, on his or his patron’s dime, that is, then I’m all for it.

  6. The most offensive thing about the pictures is the lack of trigger discipline and the fact that he appears to be pointing the gun at his own arm and the cameraman.

  7. “In may ways we are living in dark times, where freedoms and livelihoods are being stripped from the people pretty much at gunpoint.”

    I agree we are living in dark times where freedoms are being stripped. I’m not sure about at gunpoint. They are being stripped by ignorant people. People that want to control and oppress people with right of center views.

  8. So, guns are a big part of crime in Birmingham. Clearly, UK needs stricter laws to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals.

  9. Apart from the fact that he described guns being everywhere as “sad but true,” he’s right.

    I think it’s really weak that he caved though. Also, these pieces are really nothing special.

  10. I think a better response would be “I am not promoting violence. If I were promoting violence you would know, because it would hurt.”

  11. Looks like they both need to pay homage to the Left and beg for forgiveness. Make sure to smile when they feed you the shit sandwiches.

  12. All this does is give him something to talk about at the next alcohol/designer drug get together. Did anyone ever pick up a photograph when they needed to defend thenself?

  13. Damon Baker thought balloon: “Lots of people are talking about me who otherwise wouldn’t know who the heck I am. Mission accomplished.”

  14. Any artist that apologizes for his work, especially after it has been viewed by others, is not really an artist. The purpose of art is to elicit a response either from yourself or others. A true artist does not attempt to censor the response from the individual viewing his work. Trying to control the response is what the Soviets and Nazis tried to do with art.

  15. On a somewhat related note . . . I am thinking there would be alot – and I mean alot of pressure to be ridiculously good looking in that family. I mean could you imagine Posh and Becks having an ugly kid?

  16. “I don’t think it is the job of my generation to sugar coat reality.”

    The reality being that his trigger discipline just sucks?

  17. Such posed art has been done before, perhaps Trayvonn Martin is the most infamous.
    It isn’t original, it is poor art and worse political foolishness.

  18. Besides the obvious point that Beckham has obviously never held a real firearm before, perhaps the photographer from an crime ridden section of the U.K. Should consider that it’s crime ridden because of the oppressive laws against self defense. Instead of complaining that guns are the tools of the oppressors, perhaps he should consider that they must then be the tools of the rebellion against oppression. A truth is that oppression Can not be sustained against a well armed citizenry.

  19. Art is art. It is intended to create controversy. I don’t have to agree with the artist to appreciate their work. I liked the pictures.

  20. In the 19th Century, Birmingham, England was one of the largest manufacturing centers for guns of all kinds, in the world. Birmingham rifles, shotguns, etc., were sent to every corner of the globe, and supplied many arms for use in our Civil War.

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