Category: Erotic Art

Erotic Sculpture: On Display or In The Wardrobe?

erotic sculptureArt ultimately lies in the eye of the beholder. It is objective; what you think as artistic may not be aesthetically pleasing to others. Artists see art in erotic sculpture and painting, even during the earliest times. But today, some may think that nudity and phallic symbols are not art, but pornography. It may be difficult to tell if, say an erotic sculpture, was distinctly made for the “surprise factor”, or if the sculptor doesn’t have the faintest idea that the figure can be likened to pornography.

There are some erotic sculptures that can be displayed in the lounge. But most are best kept in the bathroom, in the bedroom, or in the wardrobe, especially if you have kids.

Erotic Sculpture: On Display or in The Wardrobe?

In Canada, an artist found a way on how to transform a mundane bathroom space of your house or condo unit into a something “artsy and playful.” Craig Manhood (Yes, that is his surname. No pun intended.), a fiberglass sculptor, made sensual pieces and erotic sculpture that are not only stunning, but also functional. These were the type of pieces that you will proudly display in high-class brothels.

No one can say when or where the first erotic sculpture was made. The ancient Romans, for instance, see erotic art as a mainstream illustration of talent back then. The explicit wall painting, erotic sculpture and phallic figures unearthed in the city of Pompeii shows that such theme is something you see everyday in the Roman world. But today, our culture lets us see these art pieces as extremely erotic or violent. As such, one couldn’t blame the other for hiding an erotic sculpture in the wardrobe.

In some countries, erotic sculpture is part of their culture. For example, Japan has small netsuke figurines, which are usually crafted from ivory or hardwood. These figurines depict erotic scenes, such as gay sexual intercourse and women performing cunnilingus, among other things. Today’s Japanese people are not ashamed with these erotic sculptures. In fact, they put these figurines on display and leave them out in the open for everyone to see.

Erotic sculpture and our fascination to human sexual behaviour is ingrained in us since time immemorial. Having said that, openly displaying or keeping in the wardrobe such art depends on how we see them.

Erotic Art vs Modern Porn

Young-girl-defending-herself-against-loveYoung girl defending herself against love by William-Adolfe Bouguereau 1825 – 1905

Sometimes I asked myself what is erotic art and what is modern porn. What distinguishes between the two forms of expressions? The distinction between these two is widely debated but hardly agreed upon. I noticed that the difference in opinion basically depends on aesthetic, personal moral and religious values of the people looking at it.

Let us first define what art is and what is erotic art, this will help us to understand this form of expression. Art is the expression of creative skill and imagination in visual form that stimulates the senses or emotions.
It encompasses painting, sculpture, music, poetry and architecture. While decorative arts include weaving, pottery, metalworking and furniture making.

Erotic-Pottery-at-Larco-MuseumErotic Pottery at Larco Museum, Lima Peru

Erotic art was derived from the Greek word “eros” meaning love or passion. This form of art has a sexual theme that elicits sexual feelings or desires but also stirs other emotion. It is both sexually arousing and intellectually stimulating. It captures individuality, subjectivity and the whole personality of the person being represented. Erotic art had been around for ages, the earliest erotic art was found on cave walls. Ancient people used their surroundings to express erotic artworks. People in different parts of the world used potteries, weaving, painting, sculpture, furniture, photography and print to express erotic art.

The term pornography was derived from two Greek words “porne” meaning harlot or prostitute and “graphos” which refers to writing. In simple words pornography is writing about prostitutes. Modern pornography is much more than stories about prostitutes. It includes writings, images, print, films and digital media like the internet, phone sex, and video sex. Modern porn today is more like salacious writing or pictures for the purpose of sexual excitement and erotic satisfaction.

Erotic art vs. modern porn what is the real difference? Both of them elicit sexual feelings. The perception and appreciation of beauty or aesthetics is subjective, it lies on the observer. Erotic art whether drawing, painting, sculpture, engraving, lithography, photography or film captures the beauty of the human anatomy. It is also evocative but it does not exclusively appeal to the sexual appetite. Pornography on the other hand does not engage the aesthetic sense because it leaves nothing to the imagination. It bares everything, the main purpose is to titillate and elicit intense sexual arousal.

The kind of response from observer of erotic art and modern porn is also different. Erotic art stirs the senses not just sexual. It expresses affection, love, caring and adoration. It lets the viewer experience sensual delights of a higher order. Pornography appeals to the carnal instincts. The portrayal of human flesh is calculated to heighten sexual allure and aims to give immediate sexual release.

Erotic artist pursue this form because of beauty. The end product might sell for a price, but the basic goal of the artist is to transmit what they feel is ethereal sensuality. Porn artists work for monetary value and aesthetics is just a secondary consideration. Pornography is produced to make the largest profit possible.

The-Garden-of-earthly-delightsThe Garden of Earthly Delights, an erotic triptych by Hieronymous Bosch 1450 – 1516