Thursday, 11 November 2010

Carolyn Weltman - fine artist

Carolyn Weltman, a British artist living in America, works with traditional techniques in the form of drawing and painting. Weltman primarily uses nude models to sketch from and uses both female and male models.

'Sophi Squats'
Copyright by Carolyn Weltman

Copyright by Carolyn Weltman

I love Weltman´s work for three reasons. First of all because of her line which is often loose and sketchy. In many of her works Weltman utilises this line which is deeply rooted within the classical sketching tradition and clearly seen in the picture of 'Elian' above.

Secondly there is a great sense of humour or playfulness to be traced in many of the works.
Carolyn´s line reminds me at times of the work of Danish cartoonist Nicoline Werdelin (see some of Werdelin´s work here). I grew up with Werdelin´s satirical caricature strip in the newspaper Politiken, commenting the daily life of Danes and I can´t help but smile when I see some of Carolyn´s work.

The sense of humour or playfulness can certainly be seen in the work 'Smokin´Josie' below.

Copyright by Carolyn Weltman

Thirdly Weltman is one of few artists who portray the male nude from a loving female perspective - and that is rare!
Mostly, when you see a depiction of a male nude the artist is usually gay himself. Although the female nude has been used artistically for centuries to describe a formal aesthetic and to display a masculine erotic preference, it is still far from acceptable or respectable for women to express their erotic desires artistically. With Weltman´s work though it is clear that she is very close to her subject and describes her own desires for it (just look at her own descriptions of her work...).

Diversity of eroticism.
There is another aspect of Weltman´s work which makes it interesting and important and that is her investigation and subsequent depiction of various aspects of eroticism. Her work makes reference to eroticism both explicitly and indirectly and shows us some of the many different ways in which people live, experience and experiment with eroticism. There are too many to give examples of them all but below is a selection of some.

The couples.
Weltman´s depictions of the postcoital loving hetrosexual and homosexual couples show the tender moments after the physical loving has taken place when we bask in the afterglow of the erogenous sensations.

Copyright by Carolyn Weltman

'The Sleepy Boys'
Copyright by Carolyn Weltman

'The Sleepy Girls'
Copyright by Carolyn Weltman

Curvy women.
Weltman has also done a series of works on large ladies - below are two examples.

'Body Of Woman'
Copyright by Carolyn Weltman

Copyright by Carolyn Weltman

Bondage is a much used and well loved subject for many artists referencing erotica and Weltman is no exception. Bondage is erotica of a more extreme kind but nevertheless with a strong focus on aesthetics. There is different styles of ropework, Western and Japanese. To the initiated, Japanese rope art bondage is known by the name Shibari/Kinbaku. Weltman works with the Western style.

Usually, photography is the preferred media for artistically capturing this kind of erotica. Weltman´s work is therefore perhaps a little unusual in that she uses the medium of drawings instead when depicting her bondage subjects. Nevertheless, or perhaps precisely because of that, her work possesses another kind of beauty not seen in the traditional bondage photographs.
Most unusual of the works below is 'Tied To The Game' as it shows a man and a woman standing next to each other - usually an image just records one person maybe because it often is the photographer who does the binding and then snaps the pictures.

'Tied to the game'
Copyright by Carolyn Weltman

'The Prayer'
Copyright by Carolyn Weltman

'Binding my muse'
Copyright by Carolyn Weltman

'Gods and Men'
Copyright by Carolyn Weltman

This is another highly specialised area and much used theme for artists working with erotica. Some simply show feet in shoes whilst others include and display the rest of the partially clad or fully naked body to whom the feet and shoes belong.
Weltman obviously loves shoes and has done many pictures of just shoes but she also links and shows her subject´s powerful erotic potential more explicitly in her work 'Long Night In White Shoes'.

'Long Night In White Shoes'
Copyright by Carolyn Weltman

'Strap Ons'
Copyright by Carolyn Weltman

Karma Sutra.
If you are looking for more of the explicit kinds of pictures Weltman can also provide that without it becoming vulgar or hard. There is still a sense of loving between the couples she shows us in her series of Karma Sutra cards.

'The fish'
Copyright by Carolyn Weltman

'One Knot'
Copyright by Carolyn Weltman

'The Ascending'
Copyright by Carolyn Weltman

Finally I want to show her series on boxers. There is no doubt in my mind why I love Weltman´s boxers so much. Although I'm not a fan myself, I do find Weltman´s treatment of this subject fascinating. Combining nudity, particularly the vulnerability that goes with it, and the raw strength displayed by a boxer is a clever idea and this juxtaposition is reflected in the colours.
'Still In The Game' (see below) is one of my absolute favourites because you really see Weltman excel at the technical aspect of her profession as an artist and if I had the money I would buy this picture in a flash.

'Still In The Game'
Copyright by Carolyn Weltman

'On the Mat'
Copyright by Carolyn Weltman

'Thinking It Through'
Copyright by Carolyn Weltman

'Fight Boy Getting Ready'
Copyright by Carolyn Weltman

As a testimony to Weltman´s ability and love of her subject, this year she received the honour of being the first female painter to have her work included in the quarterly journal The Art Of Man, which focuses on the fine art of the male form.

You will also be able to find her work in the highly desirable and beautiful book '100 Artists of the Male Figure' due to be published in January 2011.

Click here if you are interested in seeing more pictures of Carolyn Weltman´s work .

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Jan Van Rijn - Fine artist & Sculptor

In this post I would like to present you with some more graphically explicit works of erotica.

Copyright by Jan Van Rijn

It has been said by some that the works of art by Van Rijn are depictions of women who are clearly, "provocative, submissive and abased" and that the faces of Van Rijn´s women, "...are sexy and expressive but the poses reveal way too much..".
What do you think?

Copyright by Jan Van Rijn

Copyright by Jan Van Rijn

Copyright by Jan Van Rijn

I believe that the comment about submissiveness and abasement is misplaced. I find these women quite powerful almost controlling and with a sexual energy radiating out of every pencilled line.
As a woman it seems obvious to me that Van Rijn adores women and the female form. This is clearly reflected in his incredibly beautiful rendered line of her form and private parts and it brings forth an aesthetic oozing explicit pleasure.
And that brings me onto the second comment about the poses revealing too much.

Well, there are all sorts of things you could say about someone not wanting to "see too much". The bottom line is that what is seen as stimulating and erotic to one person is way too much and pornographic to another. In other words, it is an individual judgement whether or not something is boring, stimulating or too explicit. However, that does not automatically give one the right to call it pornographic if one finds it too explicit. The distinction between pornography and fine art is one of the topics I deal with more in-depth in my talks on erotic art.

Looking at Van Rijn´s work in purely visual terms there is no getting round the anal fascination.
However, I would say that even if you do not normally find yourself aroused by the thought of anal sex, Van Rijn certainly makes it a secret pleasure to gaze upon that private part, which most of us normally never see or indeed want to see in its natural function.

Have you ever seen a big bum look more beautiful? Copyright by Jan Van Rijn

An important compositional element in Van Rijn´s work is his extraordinary use of perspective. It keeps the viewer captivated and spellbound precisely because it adds a further artistic layer to the piece of art.

What a fantastic piece of erotica. Must be every foot fetishist's dream!
Copyright by Jan Van Rijn

Another important signature feature of Van Rijn´s art is the fine layering of lines used in the hair of his models. These lines, resembling the leaves of plants, make for a very organic plant-like feel. In a very subtle way this connects and places the erotic in the natural world, indirectly telling us that "it is okay and natural to have sex".

Look at those long flowing strands ...
Copyright by Jan Van Rijn

About the artist and his work processes.

As the name indicates Van Rijn is a Dutch artist who creates his works of art by drawing on paper. He then, in his own words, uses the drawing like a printing plate, digitally enhancing the drawing in order to create the finished piece of art.
Once a work is finished he makes it available in limited editions of 25 (signed and numbered of course).

Van Rijn does not sell his original pencil drawings, perhaps because he considers them 'unfinished' and in his own words 'delicate and fragile'. However, he does occassionally agree to exhibit them, so if you are in or near Holland you may be lucky enough to get to see them on show.

For most art collectors it is very important to make a distinction between an original and a reproduction (or a print).
That naturally takes us into the realm of photography and to the age old discussion of whether or not the genre of photography belongs to the arts and whether or not photos are valid pieces of art because you can make an infinite number of copies. For further info and a more indepth discussion on this topic see Walter Benjamin's paper from 1936, ´Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction'.
Likewise it could be argued that an artist using digital means to enhance or finish a piece of art is also capable of infinite reproduction.

That of course is why any artist with respect for him or herself, limits the number of editions available of their print, otherwise it can very easily just become a glorified poster or what is called an open edition print. Not that there is anything wrong with open edition prints.
Collectors vary with different needs and some only want originals whilst others are happy with limited edition or even open edition prints. Most people buy art for the enjoyment of the image/object, but some also collect with investment purposes in mind. For the latter category of people nothing less than an original or a very limited edition print (if it is a famous artist) will do. The uniqueness of a piece of 'original' art and the fact that there is only one of this particular art object in the world means a whole lot. These are perhaps the type of people who would not be looking at Van Rijn´s work ... but they would be missing out.

To see more of Van Rijn´s work visit his homepage here.

Copyright by Jan Van Rijn

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Beauty and Spirituality; Digital artist Jeff Wack

Digital Artist - Jeff Wack
In this post I want to show some works by Jeff Wack, who is an artist, illustrator and graphic designer based in Los Angeles. Wack works with digital tools in making his art, photographing his subject and then manipulating the image with computer software and occasionally embellishing his giclee prints with traditional mediums.

Paying Homage
There are two reasons why I have chosen to show Wack's work. The first is because his work is clearly referencing and paying homage to earlier artists like Botticelli, Klimt and Mucha.

I saw a piece by Wack recently and it was immediately obvious that it fell into the homage category. The piece which is called 'Acqua Mossa LA', (see below), clearly pays homage to Gustav Klimt's painting of 1904-07' called 'Water Serpents II'.

'Acqua Mossa LA'
Copyright by Jeff Wack.

'Water Serpents II'
Gustav Klimt, 1904-1907.

Below is Wacks reworking of another famous piece, that of Alphonse Mucha called "The Moon".

'The Moon'
Copyright by Jeff Wack.

'The Moon'
Alphonse Mucha,
(from The Moon and the Stars series), 1902.

"The Birth of Venus" is one of the greatest pieces of sensual and erotic art and below you can see Wacks interpretation of that famous piece of art.

Copyright by Jeff Wack.

'The Birth of Venus'
Sandro Botticelli, 1485-1486

EroticArtLover: What is your motivation for paying homage to earlier artists? What is interesting about 'reproducing' an image that has already been created, instead of creating a new one of your own?

JW: Artists of all mediums have paid homage to one another across time — it is the visual identification of those ideas that have inspired great artists to best their own efforts. As much as I have been satisfied in creating my own original works, I have always had an immense admiration for several artists and genres — from Renaissance and Art Nouveau to Deco or Pin-Up styles — when it comes to figurative female representation.

The challenge of recreating certain pieces with my own artistic twist is immensely gratifying. Giving them the look of a more photographic (or “real”) interpretation and presenting actual models posed in a familiar piece forces a viewer to rethink their conceptions of the original work. It is also an exercise in which close examination of the original work puts me more in touch with what the artist saw and ultimately expressed in the original work. I've found, as with most great work, certain artistic liberties (such as proportions and physical contortions) need to be taken in regards to the human form, however.

I don't try to replicate exacting poses of some original works because of the realism I am attempting to create but there are many shots of body elements I take and piece together to recreate a look. Often I attempt to hit a “middle-ground”, or in some cases a more personal aesthetic, while still paying a deep appreciation for the finer sensibilities of the original work.

Beauty & Spirituality
Idealised beauty and picturesque scenes has always been used in art, but with the mass media's abuse and trivialization of beauty, artistic renditions of beauty for beauty's sake can now quickly appear kitsch, sentimental and tripe.
There is nevertheless an emerging Zeitgeist (a general thought or feeling) in some artistic circles, that working with beauty and creating aesthetically pleasing artwork is a valid and worthwhile endeavour. Artists in general, work with subjects close to their heart and artists who create erotic works of art pertain not only to the tactile and physical, but also to the spiritual and emotional.
The connection of beauty with erotica seems obvious. It is usually the physical appearance of an individual which we are first attracted by. However, for most people beauty in itself is not enough, if they want to create a lasting relationship with deeper meaning. Aesthetic beauty is skin deep and the classical idealized human beauty often fades with time. That is why emotions and spirituality play an important part in the development of a relationship and therefore also in relation to the erotic.
Which brings me onto my second reason for showing Wacks work. In the work shown below, Wack has created mildly erotic imagery with a distinct sense of aesthetic beauty and spirituality. Wack's work is sensual imagery where spirituality is seen to play on the connection between the female and nature (cosmos, the seasons, etc.) and the tantric tradition.

Copyright by Jeff Wack.

'La Bella NevaehLleh'
Copyright by Jeff Wack.

'Winter Soul'
Copyright by Jeff Wack.

Copyright by Jeff Wack.


Copyright by Jeff Wack.

'Inner Spark'
Copyright by Jeff Wack.

'Palm Flower'
Copyright by Jeff Wack.

EroticArtLover: Why have you chosen to work with beauty and create aesthetically pleasing images?

I have consciously chosen to deal with a more idealized form of female figurative representation as an expression in my series of work. Although stark realism and overtly sexual or even macabre themes are genres I can fully appreciate at times, I decided to stay away from those in general, just as I have ( up until now) specifically avoided putting in elements that give a context of obvious time and space. All the settings in which the models reside are usually tied to an organic atmosphere or landscape avoiding modern visual cues such as dwellings ,urban life or time specific costume accents. I do however include certain models tattoos which are very commonplace these days if I feel they may enhance the interest.
I very much see the connection between earth and the female in all their manifestations, creator of life, nurturing spirit and object of beauty and desire.

EroticArtLover: Are you concerned about letting your art become or appear sentimental?

JW: I suppose that would be in the eye of the beholder ultimately. Several pieces I have are not going to appeal to a lot of viewers looking for visually harder constructs of psychological or sexual tension and I am acutely aware of that. However I have attempted to infuse each piece with a certain aura of energy, symbolic ethereal surrealism, and interesting technique as to hopefully take them out of the context of overt sentimentalism. My intent has been to create something pleasing to both sexes that depicts a womans wonderful sensuous power, and while not disregarding their innate sexual energy, neither making it the main focus.

EroticArtLover: I am aware that your beautiful piece "Oceana" have won you a number of awards. What in your opinion, is it that makes this work so special and successful? What qualities set it apart from your other work?

JW: This work has gotten awards ranging form the XTO Award, exhibited at the Farmani Gallery in New York to the international "Master Winner' award from Erotic Signature. It will be touring several cities this coming year in their ArtUndressed Show.

I think having the figures appear suspended in a "state of water" gives the viewer the freedom to decide "what's happening" — whether she's "rising up" and "breaking free" of the seaweed or some other explanation. Combining that with the serene composure expressed in the model's face and limbs along with the light emanating down into the water and bouncing on the figures and the motion trails, each seem to elicit a general response of visual beauty that is commonly shared. It's also my belief that, for most people, being in water triggers a sensation of deep primal visceral freedom — this art resonates with that sensation.Even though I have some other works in a very similar vein , Oceana has been the most represented in gallery showings so far.

For more information and to see more works by Jeff Wack please visit his homepage here.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Jamie McCartney - Sculptor

Jamie McCartney is a sculptor based in the South of England. I first came across Jamie's work, in the book The World´s Greatest Erotic Art of Today, where his piece 'The impossibility of passion", stood out as the winner in the sculpture category.

'The impossibility of passion.'
Reproduced here with kind permission by Jamie McCartney

'The impossibility of passion' draws on the Surrealist tradition with its appearance as a single legged - one breasted figure. The eroticism of the piece is partly carried through as an underlying theme supporting the visual impression of the figure. This is a naked figure - and disrobing is usually the first step on the path to erotic relations. But enigmatically this figure does not have a vulva (female private parts). So although we may think of eros when we see a disrobed body the important lack of reproductive abilities removes the possibility of erotic relations and marks the work as surreal.

Here is what the artist has to say about his work:
"Her animated pose suggests she is involved in a passionate argument. Yet this is not possible, despite her body language. Her single breast and leg, narrow body and the lack of a head are disturbing to the eye, yet she remains strangely sexy.

This dichotomy creates the power of the piece as your response to her as a woman, as a passionate woman, is at odds with her physiognomy. The Impossibility of Passion is a curious piece. One can only admire, never kiss, never talk to, never make love to. She is sexy, without sex. She is passionate but there is no possibility of passion with her. She is an enigma, a frustration, a freak. She prompts us to consider the the impossibility of passion in our own lives."

Skin deep.

Another of Jamie's works which I want to show is his piece "Skin Deep". If you consider this piece in terms of erotic relations then the title could leed you to ponder if eroticism is just a flesh and bones thing - perhaps an empty shell? What is your own relations based on? Physical attractiveness of your loved one or something deeper?

'Skin Deep'
Reproduced here with kind permission by Jamie McCartney

Great wall of vagina

The last piece I want to show gives a sneak peak, of Jamie's still unfinished work 'Great Wall of Vagina'. Below you see the first panel out of a set of nine which will make up "the wall". Each panel consists of 40 individual casts. The remaining 8b panels are still in the making and will be ready for public unveiling early next year.

'Great Wall of Vagina'
Reproduced here with kind permission by Jamie McCartney

I think this is a really interesting piece because it shows in great detail that is rarely seen. Mens genitalia is on show for all to see and although it is not shown a lot in the general media, everything "hangs out" so to speak, when you do see a naked man in real life or otherwise visual context.

Women on the contrary "hang on" to their genitalia much better, almost creating a mystery in the process. When we see a female nude her genitalia are mostly obscured by hairs covering the genital area and it is only if we as women actively go to look at ourselves with a mirror that we discover what we really look like.

I like this work of Jamie's because it presents a visual proof that creates an understanding of just how different womens' genitalia in reality are. The genitalia of womanhood is just as wonderfully diverse and different in appearance as those of our fellow male sex.

For more information and to see more of Jamie McCartney´s work click this link here and for his casting business click here.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Digital artist Japi Honoo - Japanese styled erotic art

Fabulous modern erotic art inspired by the Japanese traditional style. This is what I want to share with you in this post.

Copyright Japi Honoo

Japi Honoo (1968) was born in Central Italy and now lives near Venice but her relationship with Japanese culture and aesthetic is outstandingly strong, intimate and genuine and reflects in her artwork.

Art historically speaking there is a significant divide between the Western world and the Japanese. Whereas it was regarded as important for artists in the Western world to present images that were spatially correct, Japanese artists were instead concerned with colour, textures, patterns and producing very flat images. To the Japanese it was very much the decorative and aesthetic element that took pride of place.

This is also reflected in Japi Honoo's work.

Copyright Japi Honoo

This image for instance is a very successful modern interpretation of the traditional close-up motif of two lovers in a close embrace.

Copyright Japi Honoo

In this image eroticism is evident with the partial state of undress but the long bamboo stick can also be read as a phallic symbol.

Copyright Japi Honoo

This image remains in the tradition of the lady investigating herself which is so often a motif in traditional shunga artwork.

Copyright Japi Honoo

I think this image is interesting because traditional shunga images often show bunched, decorative kimono material and very little skin, apart from abnormally large genitalia. However, in her image, Honoo has used the kimono material in a see through fashion which is an interesting development on how we see the genitalia.

Older works of Honoo are perhaps even more interesting if you are into art which uses symbolism.

Copyright Japi Honoo

This image which is called "Generate" of the woman entwined with an egg is so powerful and stunning in its simplicity. The cross reference between eros, creation and birth is powerful and beautiful at the same time.

Copyright Japi Honoo

Linking and using flowers in connection with erotica is a longstanding tradition which numerous artists use. Honoo's image leaves you wondering if the spirit of the flower is a woman or whether the essence of woman resembles a flower.

Copyright Japi Honoo

I had to include this image - it is so strong. The figure cradling the new life in its arms is clearly a woman ... or is it? The masculine is strongly represented - which is evidenced by the phallic shape of the figure. The figure embodies the union of female and male and cradles and protects the result of that union.

Lastly I want to show you one of the most recent works of Honoo´s which is her "Ladyswan". This image is stylistically speaking very different from her earlier work. It still retains links with the Japanese style although it is far removed from the flat decorative work she has done previously.

Again Honoo works with themes not unknown to erotic in "Ladyswan". Animals and erotic is a whole interesting subject which I will return at some point in the future in my blog but for now let it suffice to show you this exquisite picture...

Copyright Japi Honoo

All images are copyright Japi Honoo and permission has kindly been granted for reproduction in this blog.

Click here for more information and to see other works by Japi Honoo.