I recently had a discussion with someone who is unfamiliar with erotic art; about the difference between sex and eroticism. The discussion arose because I used the term erotic art to describe the kind of art I deal with and to make a distinction between erotic art and pornography.
Where pornographic films, photos, writing etc. are made with the sole purpose to stimulate sexual excitement this is not the main purpose of erotic art.
Art is first concerned with aesthetics. That is, the use and appearance of line, form, colour, etc. Secondly, art is concerned with using aesthetics to communicate and express ideas that make us think about and often question the world around us.
The erotic is concerned with sexual desire or pleasure and eroticism pertains to the use of sexually arousing or pleasing symbolism in literature and art. Yet when eroticism is incorporated in art it is about more than just desire and pleasure. In erotic art, sexual symbolism and references are used to point out the abundance of connections that exist between eroticism and other aspects of our lives.
As a lot of erotic art deals with joy, happiness, love, falling in love, pleasure, giving pleasure and taking pleasure you may end up feeling aroused by looking at it. But there is also the other side of erotic art that deals with jealousy, hurt, broken relations, sorrow, distrust and anger. So erotic art shows both good and bad relations between humans in a huge variety of guises and can have an arousing effect on the viewer.
The interesting thing to note here is that what is sexually arousing or pleasing to one set of eyes is perhaps boring to another set and even shocking or outrageous to a third person. Some people need very explicit imagery to be sexually aroused or feel desire. Others are actually offended by it they prefer much less and would rather detect the outline of a body through clothing than see a naked body.
Yet it is also possible to see a naked body or even two intertwined bodies of the opposite sex without feeling any erotic pleasure. American artist Lauri Blank´s painting ´Falls Embrace´ is a good example of this. Overall Blank´s work is in not sexually explicit in style or form instead it offers evocative renderings of relationships between lovers.
So are Blanks paintings erotic in nature? To some eyes they will be simply due to the undress of the depicted figures. To me they are more sensual than sexual and I find the nakedness of the figures simply serves as a symbol of the intimate relationship that exists between two lovers. I do not feel erotically aroused looking at Blank´s work but I do feel moved on an emotional level and that in my experience is a rare thing to find in erotic art.
Yet Blank´s work cannot be dismissed as entirely non-erogenous. Blank´s work is important because for some people – and here I think of women in particular – the romantic and emotional connection is a very strong precursor for bringing on sexual excitement. This is due to the fact that many women have a need to feel an emotional connection of romantic character with a partner before they are ready to take the next step where they get physically intimate with their partner. Blank´s work offers women the chance to put a visual reminder right up on their wall that will help reinforce the all-important emotional connection they need to maintain a close erotic relationship with their partner.
Blank’s work is executed with technical skill and the high quality of her painting is unquestionable. The paintings show romantic subject matters in a style based on truth to nature with complex compositions complimented by evocative colouring.
If you are looking for a piece of art that is sensual, romantic and evocative Blank´s work fulfils the criteria. For more information and to see more of her lovely work click here to go to Lauri Blank´s homepage.
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