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    Toronto To Host Premier ‘This Is Lust’ Art Event June 20th 2019

    Art Provocateur Gallery and STRUCK Contemporary have collaborated to bring THIS IS LUST to Toronto - a special event dedicated to celebrating sexuality and beauty of the female form through fashion...

    Art Provocateur Gallery and STRUCK Contemporary have collaborated to bring THIS IS LUST to Toronto – a special event dedicated to celebrating sexuality and beauty of the female form through fashion editorial and nude art photography.

    Hosted at Struck Contemporary gallery in the heart of Toronto, THIS IS LUST, brings a selection of limited edition fine art photographs from over 20 artists from around the globe. All pieces to be displayed at this premier event have been collected, tastefully, curated, and disseminate by visionary Marta Skky of Toronto and are designed to evoke curiosity, lust and desire.

    “We must make lust into a work of art”

    Art Provocateur Gallery is a global e-commerce platform that features tastefully curated, provocative, limited edition fine art prints and original artworks. Founded by two Toronto female entrepreneurs, APG supports some of the best editorial and nude art photographers in the world — from high fashion to BDSM and romantic erotica. Art Provocateur is a celebration of empowered sexuality through fine art photography.

    Interviews and Press Material Available.

     

  • 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.

  • Dr Laura Henkel, Sexologist

    Sexologist Laura Henkel Interview

    So, you know about sex? And indeed, she does. Dr. Laura Henkel is a sexologist and a specialist in erotic art. Laura’s curated exhibitions, performances, film premieres, and artists’ talks, have been...

    So, you know about sex?

    And indeed, she does. Dr. Laura Henkel is a sexologist and a specialist in erotic art. Laura’s curated exhibitions, performances, film premieres, and artists’ talks, have been instrumental in bringing erotica into the public sphere in a thoughtful, visually fascinating and provocative way. She’s got the smarts, charm, confidence and beauty to enthrall.

    In addition to these platforms, Laura is the founder of the groundbreaking gallery in Sin City Gallery, the site of over 100 exhibits, including an amazing Bunny Yeager exhibit as well as the contemporary artwork of Jeff Wack.

    Dr Laura Henkel

    Dr. Laura Henkel is a sexologist and a specialist in erotic art.

    The captivatingly smart and beautiful Laura is also the brain behind the well-known 12 Inches of Sin, Juried Exhibition of International Erotic Contemporary Art, now in its fifth year. This year saw the publication of a series of four books, one for every year of the exhibition, delightfully illustrated with artist’s statements, critical essays and forewords by people in the field: artists, performers, critics, curators and collectors.

    As Laura puts it, there is so much art they can barely fit it in. Only a Texan with this much charm can enchant so many people into releasing their inhibitions about erotic and provocative art.

    “A Boy and His Monsters” | 12 Inches of Sin show

    The Interview.

    APG: So Laura, have you always been so “sex positive?”

    Laura: My ‘sex positive’ nature stems from my upbringing. No subject was taboo and my parents taught me to respect diversity.

    APG: Interesting. Do you think its intimidating to be in a relationship with a sexologist or just totally fun?

    Laura: A little of both.

    APG: Tell me about your favorite artistic expressions of sexuality –contemporary, modern, historic?

    Laura: My favorite historic artistic expression is sculpture and primarily marble. Michelangelo’s ‘The Slaves’ is absolutely exquisite. There are so many other art forms that I enjoy: performance, video, photography, paintings. I like art that is intellectual. To me, that is sexy.

    “Dying Slave” | Michelangelo Buonarotti

    APG: Tell me more about your background please?

    Laura: My undergraduate studies focused on transpersonal psychology. Transpersonal psychology is concerned with the study of humanity’s highest potential, and with the recognition, understanding, and realization of unifying, spiritual, and transcendent states of consciousness. When I decided to attend graduate school, I knew I wanted to continue those studies by specializing in human sexuality. For me, human sexuality embodies body, mind and spirit, as a whole in its truest form.

    APG: This is such a complex concept, and yet you make it clear with such ease. So okay, can you explain what a sexologist is?

    Laura: Sexology is the scientific study of sexuality. A sexologist is someone who has studied all areas of sex including anatomy, physiology, sexual development, sexual orientation, the dynamics of sexual relationships, as well as the mechanics of sexual contact/acts. A sexologist looks to other disciplines to understand human sexuality such as history, sociology, psychology, biology, gender studies, and more, in order to see how sex works in the context of social, cultural and religious environments.

    APG: What’s the craziest “sex-focused artwork” or “sex-focused artistic performance” you’ve organized?

    Laura: Hmmm, craziest. I think that may be a moving target as to what may be considered reasonable. I do think ‘The Operation’ by Marne Lucas and Jacob Pander is one of the greatest artistic films ever made.

    “The Operation” [1995] | Pander & Lucas
    APG: People often seek tips, ideas, or sexy things like erotica to stimulate a relationship; do you have any standard advice for spicing things up?

    Laura: As long as it is responsible, respectful and consensual… anything goes.

    APG: I like this advice. So…Seduction: what is it?

    Laura: Seduction is an art form in its own right. It is enticing. It is desirable. It is alluring.

    APG: On the other side of the spectrum… You were once quoted saying that you have watched over 300 hours of porn. Was this part of your studies? Did this expand your knowledge of human sexuality and make you more open, or can this desensitize a person?

    Laura: This was required curriculum for my graduate studies. The objective was to discover what my own judgments might be and the feelings associated to particular subject matters in order that I would not project or transfer my position onto someone else. The experience definitely made me think more openly and be clear about my own personal likes and dislikes.

    Portrait of Sappho by unknown artist in Campania, Italy C First century
    Portrait of Sappho by unknown artist in Campania, Italy C First century

    APG: Fascinating! Are there particular types of people that seem universally appealing? Are they scientific or cultural reasons?

    Laura: Sappho, from the Greek Island of Lesbos, was an intellectual poet who wrote many love poems to other women in 600 B.C. There has always been a fascination and fantasy in this context.

    APG: People were excited about the work by Japanese illustrator Hajime Sorayama. It will only be the second exhibit of the artist’s work in the United States, so this is quite notable. I love his imaginative, humorous, and sexy work.

    Laura: Yes we are so delighted to organize Hajime Sorayama’s show. Of course, I am a fan of the work; he is a true artist with an amazing imagination.

    art print by hajime sorayama
    Hajime Sorayama | Art Print

    APG: I noticed that many women sexologists are also activists in some capacity, are you?

    Laura: I believe that arts and culture are essential to creating an even greater community, and improving the quality of life of its citizens. Art challenges boundaries, fascinates, arouses and captivates by affording a peek into ourselves and others in its truest form.

    APG: Thank you Laura, this has been really intriguing!

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Jean-Léon Gérôme | Phryne before the Areopagus (1861) Kunsthalle Hamburg

    Pleasures of the Male Gaze

    Pleasures of the male gaze; and in other words: men like looking at women. No surprise there. For males, the eye is the primary sense organ when it comes to appraising feminine beauty. Looking at members...

    Pleasures of the male gaze; and in other words: men like looking at women. No surprise there. For males, the eye is the primary sense organ when it comes to appraising feminine beauty. Looking at members of the opposite sex is, for the male, an instinctual act connected to the sexual pleasure that comes with the necessity to ensure survival of the species through reproduction. In the pursuit of pleasure the male’s scrutiny of the female is the preliminary step in an erotic dance. The next step, often criticized by the woman being “checked out” by a male, is the imaginative undressing of the female, revealing the pleasure to be had in her naked form.

    Alessandro Allori painting of Susanna and The Elders (male gaze)
    Alessandro Allori | Susanna and The Elders, Florentine (1535 – 1607) Musée Magnin, Lyon

    Looking steadily, intently and with fixed attention at a fellow human being of the opposite sex with the effect of raising the emotion of desire is a motif that has been very popular in western art. The strength of the emotion is a factor of cultural norms. Thus peeping or taking a longer and broader, forbidden look at a clothed or unclothed female, is for males a highly stimulating activity. In art, the eroticism of the illicit act of gazing becomes a visual stand-in for the act itself. A male looking at a picture like Alessandro Allori’s Susanna and the Elders puts himself in the position of the elders and in doing so achieves a measure of pleasure. The biblical event represented in this work is the failed blackmailing of Susanna by two lustful elders who have been driven wild to have sex with her. Their lust was raised by secretly observing her bathing in her garden.

    Giuseppe Cesari painting of Male Gaze: Diana and Actaeon (1602/03)
    Giuseppe Cesari | Diana and Actaeon (1602/03) Budapest, Museum of Fine Arts

    The arousal of male sexual desire through surreptitiously or accidentally observing, a naked female body was a subject of an understandably popular ancient Greek myth. The story tells how chaste goddess Diana bathing in a spring with her attendant nymphs was unintentionally seen by the mortal, hunter Actaeon. The sight of her naked form raised Actaeon’s lust. Diana, anticipating that he would be unable to control himself, dampened his ardour by splashing him with water. The magical treatment was very effective at “cooling his jets” because he was turned into a deer and torn to shreds by his own hunting dogs. The cautionary moral of this tale: don’t look at a naked female, especially if she is a goddess; does nothing to deter males from illicitly or accidentally gazing at females. It merely raises the stakes, adds danger to the act which ups the power of peeping to elevate lust.

    Jean-Léon Gérôme painting of the male gaze of Phryne before the Areopagus (1861)
    Jean-Léon Gérôme | Phryne before the Areopagus (1861) Kunsthalle Hamburg

    A specific kind of painting in western art that had the purpose of arousing male lust became popular from the 15th century on. Clothed in the garb of legitimacy by representing select, mythological and historical events, these pictures work because they simulate situations that are not dissimilar to those in the male imagination, where the thought of gazing at a female body may be almost as stimulating as the act itself. This suggests that erotic male pleasure and consequently the male obsession with the female body is entirely a mental construct. A work by the French 19th century painter Gérôme, is an example of pictorial stimulation of the male mind.

    The artist portrayed the trial for impiety of the Athenian, courtesan Phryne. It is intended to act as a pleasurable reflection on the effects of intent looking at a naked female body. In summing up the case for the defence, Phryne’s lawyer pulled off her robe exposing her to the eyes of the judges. They were, so the story goes, driven to pity by the sight. They did acquit her but it was probably not on account of pity but out of fear of condemning a rare beauty to death and thus depriving themselves of the potential of a lustful encounter with the courtesan.

    Don’t look at a naked female, especially if she is a goddess.

    The excuse or narrative camouflage employed to legitimize pictures of a male gaze at nude females has varied over time. In the early 20th century ancient myths were replaced by a number of pictorial fictions that reflected contemporary life. One of the most popular of these involved the kind of legitimate, concentrated looking at a nude model in the socially acceptable environment of an art class.

    Erotic in the male gaze still depends on notions of chance.

    With the evolution in sexual mores in the last half of the 20th century the requirement for a narrative context in the portrayal of a nude female in art disappeared. The ubiquity of representations in moving images, photography, painting and sculpture of the unclothed female body however, has not meant the end of storytelling in erotic image making. In large measure the erotic in the male gaze still depends on notions of chance and illicit or secret peeping. Hence the male gaze and delight in the interplay between concealing and revealing in fashion photography. The erotic intensity of this teasing of the male gaze is increased by role playing. This is thoroughly understood by women themselves who have since antiquity assumed roles as “vamps”, in effect, asserting their sexual power by working with the predilections of the male gaze.

    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.

  • Investing In Art

    You love art. You're interested in investing in art. Perhaps you have diverse taste, or a particular type you prefer above all others. Ideal affordable artwork includes photography in editions and digital...

    You love art. You’re interested in investing in art. Perhaps you have diverse taste, or a particular type you prefer above all others. Ideal affordable artwork includes photography in editions and digital works. In fact, many art critics and curators of emerging contemporary art have pointed to the increasing currency of digital photography in the creative field in terms of its potential for innovation and new ideas.

    As well, erotic art has increasing cache these days, lead by advocates of the visual and socio-political value of this genre, The World Museum of Sex, The Tom of Finland Foundation, MOSex, New York, as well as festivals such as the Seattle Erotic Art Festival and daring new gallery shows like Hotter Than July: Eat Your Art Out.

    A wonderful way to begin your collection, this type of flat work is easy to care for, frame and ship and as such does not have excessive additional costs. A testament to the driving force of the individual collector’s taste and vision, private photography collections have become some of the best known and most coveted loans for high calibre museum shows.

    Peacock | Patrick Kaas

    Let passion be your guide to collecting or investing in art.

    Many experts recommend that collectors purchase artwork because they have a passion for the picture or object, and will be pleased if they have a return should they decide to sell the work, but for the most part, feel privileged to own the artwork. As well, it is very exciting to choose work from a curated selection from an online art dealer, knowing you have the very best presented to you.

    Past Midnight | Perry Gallagher

    The art market, some technical details.

    The pricing and evaluation of an individual piece of art is linked to market value of similar works by the artist or related artists and appreciation or depreciation reflected in historical sales. All these factors in turn depend on the fluctuation of taste as well as what is being offered within the art market at the time.

    Classification of art as an asset.

    Technically, art is considered an “alternative investment or asset” by financial advisors and is not regulated in the United States by the FSCS. Generally art is not liquid, in the sense one can sell art at any time, like one can sell equities, or property to make income. Art has a lower compound return than other alternative assets like wine and/or gold. While the expectation in general is that like a stock, you purchase the artwork for a lower value and expect to sell it later at a greater price, in fact, much like the stock market, this is not entirely predictable.

    Bathing In Light | Amariliz Photography

    Long term monetary value artists.

    Certain artists will always have lasting monetary value, unlikely to depreciate unless there is a temporary flooding of the market with similar works because for example, the artist’s family is selling limited edition copy prints, etc. The more secure or stable investments have tended to be early 20th century modern artists modernism, such as Pablo Picasso. This statement holds true upon examination of auction records.

    FLOATING ABOVE A CONSTELLATION | JIM YOUNG

    Purchasing historical artwork.

    While the art world is not known for transparency, before investing in art, we encourage you to ask for such information upfront. A reputable dealer will not hesitate to provide you with value, condition reports, exhibit history, edition number if applicable, an artist’s biography, authentication documents and/or examination reports by the artist’s foundation if applicable, and comparable sales reports. Artnet has pushed for such transparency and Christie’s and Sotheby’s and other prominent auction houses are held to these standards as well.

    CHIARA #8 | NUDES BY PIETRO

    Purchasing contemporary artwork.

    It’s a great idea to purchase work from emerging and mid career artists whose work is affordable, and yet at the same time, engaged in contemporary artistic practice. At the forefront of artistic invention, digital photography is considered a relatively new and continually evolving genre, and was recently the subject of a wonderful exhibit at the prestigious American institution, The Metropolitan Museum, New York:

    Certainly, we are well aware, that famous contemporary artists such as Jeff Koons have garnered astronomical prices. However, it can be said that such work, while fascinating, does not have the same historical and critical status as iconic early 20th century masters and as such there is no guarantee in terms of future value.

    ABOVE WATER | ALICE ZILBERBERG

    Some issues to consider before investing in art.

    The joy and privilege of purchasing work from a living artist or an artist’s estate is that you can communicate directly with the artist or through his dealer or estate. You are part of a creative world and this is in itself, what art collecting is about.

    Before investing in art, ask for information about the artist’s ideas, learn more about the process, enrich the experience of owning a piece of creativity, take notes and keep all documentation. It may be of interest to a curator or art lover, or become valuable authentication records in the future.

    Investing in art is best guided by the purchaser’s passion or love for a special piece of art first and foremost, followed by an appraisal of the quality and condition of the piece, and the proper credentials, e.g. proper provenance (history of ownership), documentation, and certificates of authentication either from the dealer, auction house, gallery or artist foundation.

    Always be aware of any gaps in ownership during the WWII years as a work could potentially have looting issues, and one wants to avoid this at all costs, as it puts you at risk for lawsuits, ethical issues, etc. If there is a gap, you should hire a qualified provenance researcher or contact the Art Loss Registry based in London.

    RJHB, New York (2015)

    CARLOTTA CHAMPAGNE BEACH TREE | CAM ATTREE

    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.

  • Robert Mapplethorpe | Master of Provocative Nude Photography

    Robert Mapplethorpe Even during his earliest training as an artist, Mapplethorpe sought his own unique expression. During his time as a student at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York,...

    Robert Mapplethorpe

    Robert Mapplethorpe

    Even during his earliest training as an artist, Mapplethorpe sought his own unique expression. During his time as a student at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, Mapplethorpe built on the cutting-edge approaches of 20th century icons such as Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns by focusing on mixed media compositions. It was his acquisition of a Polaroid camera in 1970, however, that truly changed his approach completely. At first he saw photographs as a means to produce what he called “more honest” collages, but soon, as his finesse in the medium progressed, Mapplethorpe pursued photography as his main medium.ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE | Maybelle

    ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE | Maybelle

    Though some of his initial series were commercial commissions, when shooting for himself Mapplethorpe most often focused his lens on the people that surrounded him: friends, fellow artists, and associates from the S&M underground. It was this more covert culture that came to dominate his artistic oeuvre. His aim in his imagery was not to exaggerate the erotic content. On the contrary, he saw his images as chronicling an under-documented aspect of American culture. “I don’t like the word shocking,” Mapplethorpe mentioned in an ARTnews interview in 1988 when discussing his images, “I’m looking for the unexpected.” He showcases this unexpected aspect in the way in which he crops his compositions.

    ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE | MODEL: LYDIA
    ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE | MODEL: LYDIA

     

    In most frames we are not given an entire figure but rather just one of its tantalizing tidbits. On the one hand, such cropping can be seen as teasing the viewer, leaving him or her to imagine the remainder of the figure. On the other hand, this cropping creates a visual distance, or disconnect, that encourages the viewer not to idolize the model as a sex object but rather celebrate the sensual landscape of the body one frame at a time.

    One of Mapplethorpe’s most striking series of nude female photographs was shot in the early 1980s. With his prominence as a photographer secured, Mapplethorpe used World Women’s Bodybuilding Champion Lisa Lyon as his muse. In this series, Mapplethorpe conjured intimate images that on the one hand played with the provocative, but on the other, celebrated the classical components of form and proportion. The result was a compelling compendium of images that showcased both the beauty of the female form and the artful eye of Mapplethorpe himself.

    It was shortly after this series that Mapplethorpe’s health began to decline: 1986 brought the revelation that he was suffering from AIDS. He died three years later at the age of 43, and yet his status was already secured as one of the most significant photographers of the 20th century. This status is still secure today, as Mapplethorpe’s images are continuously recognized for their artful beauty.

    AC, Chicago (2015)

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