• Goodbye Jan (woman with gun) by Jan Saudek

    Jan Saudek | Extraordinary Erotica

    Maybe today it's easy to succeed in the art of erotica, if by that for an artist, is meant to make an exhibition and find their name in the newspaper. But what really separates some artists from all...

    Maybe today it’s easy to succeed in the art of erotica, if by that for an artist, is meant to make an exhibition and find their name in the newspaper. But what really separates some artists from all others is the ability to be noticeable without being aware that they have achieved this level of recognition. Despite numerous painters, who are lovers of paintbrushes and tempera, there are the artists who have driven their passion towards the digital and photography. One of them, the rarest among all, is Jan Saudek, a renowned Czech photographer.

    “There are too many imitators – I do not want to show the way to anyone anymore.” – Jan Saudek

    Born in Prague in 1935, several years just before World War II, Saudek is forced to face the consequences that will follow only because of his origins. His father was Jewish and many of his relatives ended their lives in a concentration camp. Jan and his brother were also deported to the camp, separated from their father, who shared the same fate with their sons. All of them survive this period. Stuck between memories of murdered children, the sound of shots, a person’s last breaths and his dreams, Jan begins to explore the possibilities and the magic of photography. In 1950 he got his first camera, Kodak Baby Brownie. This was the beginning of the art war lead by Jan against the political system, his family and his lustful dreams.

    Hyperbole erotic photography by Jan Saudek
    Jan Saudek | Hyperbole

    To understand his art, you need to glance into the deepest and darkest parts of his being. He is like a house with many floors and windows, each one offering a different view. Jan Saudek is the second child in the family, and as he said, “he is predestined to spend all his life as No. 2.” Saudek yearned for physical love since his young years. He lost his virginity at 15, with a girl who was also a virgin. His life is filled with failed relationships, passionate relationships, ruined marriages and separation from his children. Saudek, like any conscious artist, has managed in his own way to fight against the military and the communist regime. Often, he had no opportunity to express his views through his works because they were banned. Travelling to the USA was the first step that led Jan to success. He explored all forms of art, but mostly focused on his unique life companion: photography.

    Jan Saudek has the courage that many of us dream of.

    Life experiences, passions and interests are transferred to the works of Jan Saudek. He creates paintings and photos that speak of: the beauty of life, childhood, dreams, desires and unfulfilled plans, human nature, body and nudity, love and hate, sexuality and sexual attraction, passion, sadism and masochism, domination, melancholy, depression and doubts, life and death, fantasies hidden in the human mind. The works of this extraordinary artist could be the new art genre that has not been named yet.

    Victory on the Sea by Jan Saudek
    Jan Saudek | Victory on the Sea (1993)

    Eroticism in the works of this Czech genius is shown through human body and nudity. Jan Saudek has the courage that many of us dream of. Through his photographs, he depicts the female body the way it is, no uniformity, no stereotypes or rules. The female body is presented as a figure of femininity. Sex, penetration, defloration and making love are not taboo for Jan Saudek. Rather, he revives these moments by putting emphasis on the most intimate parts of the human imagination. What other people were seeing as prohibited, incompatible and kitsch – Jan Saudek has used it as the foundation of his art. In the late seventies, his black and white images gain a new dimension; Saudek began to use techniques, which included color, tinting and hand painting.  Using bold colors, Saudek reaches climax in displaying his individuality. His works not only depict nudity; they themselves are nudity. They are honest, open, without fear or embarrassment to show what lies in the mind and soul of an artist or a simple man. Many of the models in the pictures were his wives, girlfriends, lovers, and children.

    Who Cares nude photography by Jan Saudek
    Jan Saudek | Who Cares (1987)

    The representation of women and the female body is easily noticeable in Saudek’s photographs. He exalts the naked body of a woman in a sophisticated, erotic way. Often it can be aggressive, even grotesque. The female sex organ, its utilization or purity is shown with unprecedented passion. Some of his photos show details of masochism and sadism, sexual domination of masculinity that owns the female body – all this without the intention to harm the woman. Rather, he loves all women beings through his sincere art. The male body is also represented. It is solid, tight and good-looking. The man in the work of Saudek adores the woman; he is experiencing sexual delirium, he enters into an unknown world of sexual fantasy and lust.

    The mandolina lesson colored photograph by Jan Saudek
    Jan Saudek | The Mandolina Lesson (1994)

    Other detail that must not be missed is the vacant room (chambre libre) that Jan uses when making portraits and expressions of his dreams, capturing the moment of imaginativeness. The room is empty; there is no furniture, only details and a model. Often, the room would have cloudy walls that take one’s mind to the farthest dreams using colorful carpet, skulls, cradles, sex toys, artworks, mirrors and props.

    Saudek gives you a peek into his genius mind, and from his life experience brings us controversial beauty through erotica.

    AT, (2015)

    Art Provocateur is the premier online gallery of erotic art prints. Browse our erotic art gallery for limited edition and one-of-a-kind artwork. We have the largest selection of erotic and nude art from both established artists and rising stars.

  • Judge Me | Erotic Art

    While the word “judge” could be considered harsh, it is not a word that must always have a negative meaning. All of us make judgments daily. It is human nature, part of survival. When observing erotic...

    While the word “judge” could be considered harsh, it is not a word that must always have a negative meaning. All of us make judgments daily. It is human nature, part of survival. When observing erotic art on someone’s wall, it is natural for many to draw some conclusions about that individual. While an individual’s morals or character can not necessarily be judged by the art on their wall, one’s individuality and respect for a woman’s body can certainly be assessed by which works of art adorn their home. To display tasteful erotica in one’s home can actually be a demonstration of appreciation, respect and even reverence towards a woman’s body. What an individual hangs on the walls of their home represents, in a sense, their own perspective. No matter the genre, it is apparent when a particular piece of erotica has been chosen carefully. The effort it took to choose the piece and hang it required contemplation and energy. What motivated them to invest in that? That piece may lend a fresh perspective of their relationship dynamics, or what they prioritize. At the risk of oversimplifying, what one hangs on their wall does indeed express in some measure who they are.

    SEXTING | BY SANTILLO
    SEXTING BY SANTILLO

    If a collection of erotic art demonstrates an owner’s individuality, it can simultaneously demonstrate their knowledge of what art is as well. The ability to judge a person by the art on their wall applies powerfully when getting a feel for what sort of person they are, in the face of open-minded discussion. As all art forms can be controversial, those who display art (erotic especially) tend to be open to and may even invite hearty and intelligent debate. The judgment can usually safely be made that they are open-minded, understanding, and motivated to educate and be educated in many areas.

    erotic art Picasso etching of reclining nude woman and 3 men
    Picasso Etching (1959)

    The pictured etching done by Picasso poses an unerring example of the power art can wield, as it is certain to ignite lively conversation due to its controversial depiction. The overstated vagina, as well as the large and shady faces of the men viewing it, in contrast to the smaller face of the woman, makes an audacious presentation of the differing societal views of genders. Conversation on a piece such as this can lead into to the realms of feminism, respect, and the different powers of gender. Erotic art is not only eye-catching, but it has the potential to encourage types of conversation between people that otherwise may not have taken place. Those who display erotic art in their homes understand this, and customarily embrace it.

    Conversation and intellectual stimulation begin as a result of viewing erotic art.

    The sharing of their own understanding and comprehension of taste and beauty contribute a healthy, cultured perspective to those who have not made such realizations. Indeed, it could be said that collecting erotic art is an intelligent choice for a buyer, and a favor to the intellect of those entering their home. It also must be added that one doesn’t require a college degree to appreciate and understand art of any form.

    EROS BY ARKADIY KOZLOVSKIY

    Another judgment to be made when encountering erotic art in a person’s home is of the sexual perspective of the individual displaying the art, versus our oftentimes sex-saturated society of pornography. To display an erotic, proud depiction of artwork is to embrace sexuality in a fresh and lively measure. There is no shame in portraying a sensuous female form in a respectful and tasteful manner, as the purpose is not pornographic, but thoughtful, sexy and moving. Buyers of erotic art understand that they will be judged by the art on their wall. Their erotica is therefore displayed proudly, inviting the doors of communication, education, and intellect to fling wide.

    Art Provocateur is the premier online gallery of erotic art prints.  Browse our galleries of limited edition and one-of-a-kind artwork. We have the largest selection of erotic and nude art from both established artists and rising stars.

  • Sandro Botticelli, The Birth of Venus (1486)

    Erotic Art Controversy

    Erotic art has been around for centuries, yet never fails to cause a stir. From the classic reclining nude or the 1920s pin-up girl to today’s provocative prints or sexy “selfies,” erotica will...

    Erotic art has been around for centuries, yet never fails to cause a stir. From the classic reclining nude or the 1920s pin-up girl to today’s provocative prints or sexy “selfies,” erotica will always be a loaded topic of conversation. Are we too embarrassed to look at the human form, one of nature’s purest entities? Perhaps it is the blunt rawness of nudity that makes us uncomfortable. When we look at art, we are conditioned to judge certain works positively and other more explicit works with discomfort or disgust. For example, we may look at a nude poster of Marilyn Monroe as beautiful and iconic, while a photograph of an exotic dancer elicits a more lowbrow connotation. Why? It is almost as if society’s mainstream perceptions have pervaded the average person’s idea of erotic art or imagery who have come to see it as crude or even tasteless.

    Sandro Botticelli, The Birth of Venus (1486)
    Sandro Botticelli | The Birth of Venus (1486)

    Throughout history, similar reactions arose in response to certain works of fine art depicting the nude body. For the most part, cultures have a code for depicting nudity, often in the service of allegorical narrative. Hellenistic art frequently depicted nudity and on occasion used devices such as draping or a modest hand over the nether regions. Publicly visible Medieval European depictions of the nude body were mostly allegorical, and served as cautionary Christian narratives, whereas Italian renaissance painting and sculpture looked to the traditions of the Greco-Roman era for models, such as the allegorical Botticelli painting, The Birth of Venus (1486).

    The power of allegory is its supposed sublimation. This is why we often look at the dreamy goddesses of Titian or Botticelli with exalted reverence, but will not welcome erotic art photography or provocative paintings with the same appraisal. It seems that if an image is too contemporary or blatantly sexual, it is too raw and explicit for mainstream tastes—and that is where the line is drawn.

    erotic art painting of Édouard Manet, Olympia (1865)
    Édouard Manet | Olympia (1865)

    Explicit can mean more than simply the exposure of one’s most intimate regions, in fact it can be the lack of metaphor, of distance of sublimation. The date 1865 has long been considered a pivotal moment in the history of modern art, particularly the representation of nudity. It is the year that the French painter Édouard Manet exhibited his painting Olympia – painted in the tradition of Titian’s Venus of Urbino (1538) as well as Ingres Odalisque with a Slave (1842). However, without the traditional device of literary or mythological allegory and with various contemporary symbols this was a shocking image. While the model for the picture was Victorine Meurent who also modeled for other paintings, it resembled pornographic photographs of the period, which surely would be recognized, but it was most of all her cool stare, rather than a welcoming smile, that made Olympia equal parts shocking and mesmerizing. Equally, contemporary audiences were astounded by the flatness of the modeling and color. It was obvious to the contemporary audience that this woman was a kept mistress or courtesan. Some critics point to the name Olympia as a common name for courtesans, and others connect Manet’s painting to the notorious renaissance courtesan Donna Olimpia Maldachini, or Marguerite Bellanger, a mistress of Emperor Napoleon III. Whoever this alluring woman may be, she has a confident self-possession and carelessness that disturbed so many of the viewers, some who said they felt trapped by her gaze.

    These boundaries were pushed further in the painting of a languishing nude woman by French painter Gustave Courbet – the infamous L’Origine du monde (1866) in the collection of the Musée d’Orsay, Paris. This picture shows the artist’s mistress and model Joanna Hiffernan who is said to also have been the lover of the American painter James Whistler. L’Origine du monde was commissioned by the Turkish-Egyptian diplomat Khalil-Bey, who had become well known for his Paris erotic art collection. While the picture displays feminine genitalia with an unrelenting magnification, many critics feel it bears traces of the sumptuous painting of the Venetian school such as Titian and Veronese.

    Erotic art painting of Amedeo Modigliani, Reclining Nude Painting (1917)
    Amedeo Modigliani | Reclining Nude Painting (1917)

    Amedeo Modigliani also tested these barriers when he painted highly stylized reclining females who seemed to embrace their own sensuality, and made no move to cover their bodies. Modigliani made over twenty-six works of this type; the one shown here was made for his patron Léopold Zborowski. The reality is that there is a candid eroticism, a certain charge that caused some controversy when the paintings were exhibited in the window of the art dealer’s Berthe Weill’s gallery, their reflection of the liberal culture of Montparnasse so shocking that Weill was ordered to take the erotic art works down.

    A sumptuous explicit body is at the center of erotic art controversy.

    The difference between an allegorical nude and a sumptuous explicit body is at the center of controversy. An allegorical nude is associated with beauty and high culture, whereas the exposed body is associated with lowbrow eroticism. This is part of the distinction that creates the boundaries between erotic art and that which is scandalous. However, all of this raises the question why we see more explicit eroticism as shameful or distasteful and who decides?

    Perhaps we can liberate ourselves and be more honest about our taste. The reality is that arousal and sexuality are natural parts of being human. For this reason, if we shy away art that shows explicit sexuality and nudity, we are also denying the sexuality that is innate to our own being. In truth, erotic imagery is still and will remain an integral part of our humanity.

    Art Provocateur is the premier online gallery of erotic art prints.  Browse our galleries of limited edition and one-of-a-kind artwork. We have the largest selection of erotic and nude art from both established artists and rising stars.

  • Model with painting by arkadiy kozlovskiy

    Pornography or Erotic Art?

    Is erotic art pornography? While not a simple question to answer, addressing it is necessary in order to bring clarity, appreciation, and understanding of this topic by what at times can be considered an...

    Is erotic art pornography? While not a simple question to answer, addressing it is necessary in order to bring clarity, appreciation, and understanding of this topic by what at times can be considered an extremely sexualized society. We must ask: What is erotic art? What is pornography? What is the difference between them, and how can we develop a knowledgeable perspective on the issue?

    In order to understand the difference, we must first address the definition of each word. Art is defined by Webster’s dictionary as “something that is created with imagination and skill and that is beautiful or that expresses important ideas or feelings.” A work of art conveys a concept, an idea, or a group of ideas. It is communication between the artist and the viewer, listener, or reader. Within art and the viewing of it, there is no shame; at least, there shouldn’t be. Art inspires interest and deep thought, however, there is not usually a blatant push for action intended by the artist. For example, a work of tastefully erotic art can hang on a wall and be understood by artists and the individuals viewing it, that while sexy, the piece is not necessarily intended to motivate the viewer to engage in the eroticism being portrayed. At this point, one can begin to see the difference between art and pornography, once the purpose of erotic art is understood.

    pornography or erotica by arkadiy kozlovskiy
    Arkadiy Kozlovskiy | Yulya Svet

    We must next define the word pornography in order to understand its meaning as well. The word pornography originates from, “pornographos,” a Greek word that refers to prostitution. Webster’s defines pornography as “the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement,” or, “the depiction of acts in a sensational manner so as to arouse a quick intense emotional reaction.” The motivation of pornography, then, is not communication of a concept or idea. Its intention is for action on the part of the viewer, reader, or listener. Within pornography and normally, a consumer of pornography, there is generally a strong push for gratification of sorts. There is not usually an inspiration of deep thoughts and consideration contained in the intention of pornography toward its consumer. For example, a sexual depiction as part of a marketing campaign may be considered pornographic, as it motivates action. The sexual depiction is not represented for contemplation, appreciation, or communication of an idea other than to motivate the viewer, listener, or reader to engage in what is being sold. Unfortunately, as a result of the pornography industry and the sexually saturated marketing campaigns so prominent today, there is a gross lack of understanding of the difference between erotic art and pornography.

    Within pornography there is generally a strong push for gratification.

    Let us not leave out the perspective that erotic art is a communication of beauty, while the purpose of pornography is not for the consumer to take the time to appreciate beauty and ideas. Tasteful art is about the artist, and what is being communicated by him or her. It is an invitation of the artist extended to the consumer to participate in his or her art via intellect. Pornography is about the viewer, listener, or reader, and what can be gained by him or her as a result of consuming it.

    pornography or erotica by Harry Carmean
    Harry Carmean (1974)

    The understatement of tasteful art when comparing erotica and pornography is also to be appreciated. It evokes thoughtful emotion of the consumer. The communication of art can be assessed, understood, and reassessed with appreciation. However, pornography is seldom understated and does not usually promote the consumer to take the time to assess or thoughtfully examine. The general motivation is clear, blatant and at times, forceful. This brings to the forefront the argument that what is considered pornographic does lie within the viewer. An artistic work that one individual may view as simply erotic, may cause that “strong emotional” and motivated reaction within a different person that may be considered pornographic.

    It is important for consumers of art to fully understand and continue to educate themselves on the difference between erotic art and pornography. It is a path of understanding and personal growth not to be regretted.

    Art Provocateur is the premier online gallery of erotic art prints.  Browse our galleries of limited edition and one-of-a-kind artwork. We have the largest selection of erotic and nude art from both established artists and rising stars.

  • Madonna | Erotic Years

    Taking the 80s by storm, Madonna stands as a legendary sex symbol who truly revolutionized the social culture of her decade. Embracing sex and rebellion as the cornerstones of her image, she fearlessly...

    Taking the 80s by storm, Madonna stands as a legendary sex symbol who truly revolutionized the social culture of her decade. Embracing sex and rebellion as the cornerstones of her image, she fearlessly bashed conservative family values, leading an age of sexual liberation and free expression. With her risqué performances and clothes, she standardized a whole new level of provocation, carving her place as the queen of pop, and most importantly, the icon who empowered women to embrace their sexuality and social autonomy.

    Madonna was a leader of a revolution that forever influenced the way we perceive erotic art. Through her sexy photos, she became a sign of free expression, showing the world that provocative art is more than just a feast for the eyes; it’s a symbol of empowerment and unbridled energy. In turn, Madonna’s exhibitionism expressed a clear agenda: Why merely shock people when you can lead a revolution?

    Madonna for Vogue Italia by Steven Meisel in 1991
    Steven Meisel | Madonna for Vogue Italia (1991)

    Madonna made this agenda clear in 1985 when she posed topless for Playboy in collaboration with the photographer, Bill Stone. In these monochromatic photos, she poses full-frontal with unshaved privates and underarms, indicating a trendy bohemian attitude toward her nakedness.

    Madonna underarms by photographer Bill Stone in 1985
    Bill Stone | Madonna (1985)

    The plain backdrop—instead of the standard glamorous background, enhances this effect, Madonna is posing within commonplace settings in most of the photos. Her simplicity and bluntness indicates a genuine, unembellished ownership over her body, producing an eroticism that is both real and attainable.

    Madonna by photographer Steven Meisel in 1992
    Steven Meisel | Madonna (1992)

    However, Madonna’s photos were perceived as lewd and distasteful, provoking a surge of public controversy surrounding her image as both a pop star and role model. Nevertheless, Madonna’s full-on nudity showed a rich confidence and a willingness to confront the conservative values of her era.

     

    The authenticity and openness of her eroticism demonstrated self-approval and true liberation. In turn, she stripped away the shame and indignity that was commonly associated with erotic photography and introduced a rich and meaningful revival of this genre.

    Madonna photographed by Steven Meisel in 1992
    Steven Meisel | Madonna (1992)

    As her sexual identity matured, she continued to push the intensity of her erotic art. On October 21, 1992, she released “Sex,” a coffee table book filled with soft-core pornographic photographs. Shot by Steven Meisel Studio, the pictures carried a sadomasochistic nature, depicting Madonna in various bondage-related poses and interactions. Every aspect of the scene represented lawlessness and youth: her untidy bleached hair, the rope and cuff restraints, and the overall explicitness of the act.

    Madonna was dubbed “The Queen of obscene.”

    Traditionalists and moralists believed she had gone too far, while her fans shared mixed reactions – some bewildered, some amazed and some inspired. But most importantly, these antics begged the question: why?

    At the heart of these photographs, we’re not merely seeing an aimless sensationalist at work, but rather something more powerful. She unleashes an inner ferocity that is inherent in all of us, but often suppressed. As a result, her photos not only bash the squeamish mainstream views of her time, but also invite people to welcome sexuality with new eyes.

    STEVEN MEISEL | MADONNA (1992)
    STEVEN MEISEL | MADONNA (1992)

    Despite all the scandal surrounding Madonna’s eroticism, there really was a method to her antics. As the ringleader of modern sexuality through the 80s, Madonna’s exploits can be viewed as a demonstration of empowerment. Her naughty trademark and explicit nudity was a pathway to a new age of women and culture.

    RE, Toronto (2015)

     

    Explore the Art Provocateur Gallery to shop the most enticing erotic art for sale. Discover art prints ranging from erotic and nude photography to pin-ups and paintings. Start building your collection today and learn the tantalizing thrills of decorating with nude art.