Some Thoughts on Erotica
I find the argument around whether or not erotica should be considered art pretty exhausting. For one thing, it relies on there being a set definition of art, which there isn’t. And for another, it implies that the (cultural/artistic/whatever) value of an art piece is dependant entirely on subject matter, which, again, it isn’t. In my experience, a person’s position on the debate says a lot more about them than it does about erotic art.
What I mean is that because traditional art is set on such a higher pedestal than photography, film, or comics, a lot of people are willing to accept a painting of a vagina as titillating, beautiful art, but reject a photo of one as smut. People who look down their nose at illustrations by Ellen Forney or Gary Baseman will just as quickly rave about Georgia O’Keefe. No buddy, those aren’t flowers.
For whatever reason, a nude by Gauguin, an appropriative racist who knowingly gave young women syphilis, is still revered as great art. But beautifully filmed acts between lovers, like Comstock films, and the “Primal Painting” hanging here in the shop that could teach Kirchner a thing or two about expressionism, is still somehow taboo?
Hey, it doesn’t stop being art just because I can flick my bean to it. Maybe it just makes it better!