Art on Emotion.

Art and Porn. The line between art and porn.

Art and Porn

What is the difference between Art and porn? After reading hundreds of comments on social media most of which being in my opinion, narrow-minded, ignorant, uneducated and abusive about the subject of nudity when applied to art I have reached the conclusion that most opinions are either moralistic religion based or just based on the authors own insecurities.

So, I have decided to write this post to find out the general perception of what some would class as an artistic nude but others would label pornographic or offensive. People seem very passionate about expressing their views and opinions on the subject of nudity within the art world so here is your chance to express your opinions.
Below there are a series of random paintings containing nudes or semi-nudes. I want you to decide which ones you see as artistic and which ones you see as porn. Try to explain your answer and the reason for it so as to make it easier for others to understand your point of view.

Women Lovers.

Art and porn. Women Lovers by Charles Blackman
Women Lovers by Charles Blackman

By acclaimed Australian artist, Charles Blackman this painting caught my eye as it was recently banned by Facebook, much to the disgust of the gallery that was trying to display it for auction purposes.  I’m guessing that it was banned for containing lesbian connotations and nudity. Both the young women in this piece look content and relaxed in a way that would suggest perhaps that some sort of sexual activity had taken place.

In the foreground there is a Black cat present, so what is its symbology. The cat can be associated with femininity, good fortune or prosperity. In Europe, the Black cat is associated with bad luck and considered to be an omen of misfortune and death and yet early Christianity associated the cat with among other things, sexual desire. So is the cat in this painting there for aesthetic reasons or is it there to suggest something else?

Personally, I see nothing wrong with the image and I would willingly hang it on my walls. The fact that there is a hint of sexual activity makes the painting that more intriguing. It is subtle, a portrayal of a couple who are in love and that cherish and enjoy each others company. Perhaps relishing in the warm afterglow and feeling of contentment that comes when lovers come together to enjoy each other’s bodies.  It is I think, in no way offensive and portrays what is, in fact, an everyday part of normal life whether we choose to acknowledge it or not. We are all human beings and inevitably we all have basic needs, desires and want to be loved. So, what do you think, What is your opinion?

The origin of the world.

Gustave Courbet. The origin of the world 1866
Gustave Courbet. The origin of the world 1866

L’Origine du monde by Gustave Courbet is a highly debated piece which is currently hanging in the  Musée d’Orsay. It is a brilliantly executed realistic portrayal of an erotic female nude that leaves nothing to the imagination.
Although at its time, when first painted I believe it had a more political agenda. However, for me, its title clearly states that it is an interpretation of what some may consider as being, “The origin of the world”. we all come from the womb and we all get there via a sexual act, as without the urge or ability to reproduce there would be no world, for mankind, at least.

I personally find this in no way offensive and more a celebration of the female form, it’s beauty, its erotic nature, it’s seductive inviting allure and its incredible ability to reproduce and nurture mankind. Is it pornographic, no absolutely not? I would definitely not class it as porn. Yes, it is suggestive and the subject is posed in a way that suggests she is ready for sex. Is it offensive, no absolutely not? It is the most natural thing in the world and something anyone in a relationship would see on a regular basis. Would I hang it on my wall, yes?

The Bather

William Bouguereau. The bather
Bouguereau – The Bather

This is one of my favourite nudes. It is by the French artist, William Adolphe Bouguereau who was a master of his craft, a true expert at portraying photorealistic paintings in oil combining just the right amount of pigments to create realistic skin tones a layer at a time. As with most artists he often used several different models, taking particular parts from each to create his finished works.

This painting is pleasing to the eye. Could it be classed as erotic, absolutely?  Sensual, definitely, the subject is deliberately posed to give an air of sensuality and provocation. Her eyes letting you know that she can see you are watching her and suggesting to you that she likes the attention. Could it be classed as having sexual connotations, perhaps? Is it pornographic absolutely not yet so many would argue otherwise?

The Guitar Lesson.

The guitar lesson by BALTHASAR KŁOSSOWSKI DE ROLA

By BALTHASAR KŁOSSOWSKI DE ROLA, aka, Balthus. It is categorised as being a surrealist piece and was painted in 1934 so no doubt kicked up a storm. It features a young female being forcefully bent backwards over the knee of an older female. There is nothing left to the imagination as it is clear of the intention and what is happening in this piece. For the uncensored image please visit Here

For me, you could raise several arguments concerning the subject matter portrayed in this painting. You could argue that it is an abusive, obscene, explicit, pornographic, perhaps even derogatory image, but is it still art? There is definitely a strong controversial argument here as the age of the young girl is unknown. She does have a pre-pubescent appearance and she is clearly being dominated by the women in the chair. An abusive sexual act is taking place and yet it is still just a painting, is it not?  So, what is the difference between art and porn?

In conclusion.

For me art comes in many forms, both in everyday life and that which is deliberately created by the artist, not everyone likes what they see as if we all had the same tastes wouldn’t life be so very boring. I try to judge art for art’s sake and believe that slating an artist or their work just because it does not suit my ideas, religious opinions or moralistic values is wrong. Nudity has always been portrayed in art throughout history so I believe that it is time to finally accept it in art and to stop trying to be so stereotypically judgemental of it. If you don’t like nudity in art just remember that nobody asked you to look in the first place.

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