TOcontributing to one of the most iconic album covers, Spencer Elder, pictured naked when he was 4 months old to illustrate Nevermind de Nirvana, filed a complaint against the rock group, reports the California court, confirming information from the American magazine Variety. His lawyer, Robert Y. Lewis, considers this photograph to contain elements of child pornography. With his client’s genitals visible, he appears to be a “sex worker,” according to the lawyer.
” The group used this child pornography by placing Spencer Elder as a central element of their promotional strategy ”, can we read in the complaint filed. “The child poses in a sexually provocative manner in order to raise the profile of the group, increase sales and attract media attention”, the lawyer pointed out, adding that the photographer at the time had captured several shots of Spencer, so an alternative image choice was possible.
At least $ 150,000 in damages
Now 30, Spencer Elder celebrated the 10e, 17e, 20e and 25e album birthdays in recreating the cult cover. However, he confided in several interviews to be torn between the “celebrity” linked to the album cover and the feeling of having been exploited. “It’s both cool and weird to be a part of something I don’t remember”, he confided to New York Post in 2016.
Apart from a sum of 200 dollars (approximately 170 euros) given to his parents to take the shot, for which they would not have signed any waiver, specifies the complaint, Elden was never compensated for this photo. The man then tried to make contact with different members of the group several times, without success. “It’s hard not to be frustrated when you see all the money that has generated”, declared the thirty-something in 2016, who now claims at least 150,000 dollars (approximately 128,000 euros) in damages.
By the time the album was released in 1991, the cover art was seen as a critique of capitalism, with the baby swimming towards a banknote hanging from a fishing rod hook, at which he seemed to be smiling.