• 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?

    pornography or erotica by arkadiy kozlovskiy
    Arkadiy Kozlovskiy | Yulya Svet

    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.

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    Photographer: Bruno Fournier

    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 the 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.

    Within pornography, there is generally a strong push for gratification.

    There is not usually an inspiration for deep thoughts and consideration contained in the intention of pornography toward its consumers. 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.

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    Photographer: Tobias Ginski

    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.

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    Wildlife by Rick

    The understatement of tasteful art when comparing erotica and pornography is also to be appreciated. It evokes the 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.

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    Photographer: THEKEYTOROOM237

    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 Gallery presents a beautifully curated collection of nude and erotic art from around the world. We welcome you to peruse erotic art for sale at ArtProvocateur.com.

  • Sculpture Red Velvet Vulva 7320

    Judge Me | Erotic Art

    JUDGE ME. 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...

    JUDGE ME. 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.

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    Curated by Art Provocateur Gallery

    To display tasteful erotica and provocative art 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. Investing in art and the motivation behind it. 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
    Artist: 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 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 the art of any form.

    decorate-with-erotic-art
    Curated by Art Provocateur Gallery

    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 Gallery welcomes you to peruse a beautifully curated collection of nude and erotic art from all over the world.

  • Devin Pierre Photography

    10 of America’s Best Erotic Photographers

    Erotic photographers are a rare breed. They are able to capture the beauty and emotion in tantalizing fine art photographs. Our online erotic art gallery features some of the best erotic photographers...

    Erotic photographers are a rare breed. They are able to capture the beauty and emotion in tantalizing fine art photographs. Our online erotic art gallery features some of the best erotic photographers from around the globe. Today, we take a look at 10 of America’s best erotic photographers, established and rising stars:

    10. Devinn Pierre

    Born in Houston Texas, Devinn Pierre is a talented artist. Devinn’s photography focuses on beauty and freedom. Though his nude stills are unique, this artists’ style captures a 70s era retro feel.

    Devin Pierre Photography
    Sonny In The Kitchen | Devinn Pierre

    Although having a longstanding passion for photography, Devinn is just making headway in the burgeoning erotic photography scene. His photography background includes street-style art and short films, before moving into erotic art. He is already making headway with features in online magazines including Nakid, S&S Mothership, and C-Heads Magazine.

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    Photographer: Devinn Pierre

    In addition to a passion for the lens, Devinn Pierre is a musician. You can find Devinn’s DJ tracks on Apple Music and Soundcloud.

    Devinn shoots on 35mm, medium format, and polaroids. See more of Devinn Pierre’s work in our erotic art gallery.

    9. FASFOTO

    FASFOTO is an erotic photographer based in Baltimore, Mayland. His work focuses on figure, portraiture, and the female body.

    Although another relative newcomer on the erotic art scene, FASFOTO began earning attention quickly. His work has been featured in DEKAN Magazine and he works with a number of talented models.

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    Artist: Fasfoto

    Intent on capturing and contrasting beauty and shape, his work often features scenic and dynamic backdrops. FASFOTO’s work with models also creates expressive and emotive scenes that offer compelling storytelling.

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    Artist: Fasfoto

    For more, explore our gallery of erotic photography by FASFOTO.

    8. Sasha S

    Sasha S, known as nimblephotons on social media, is a San Francisco-based photographer. His work is mostly local, shooting fine art nudes and erotic photographs that feature SF Bay Area landscapes.

    Sculptural Photography
    Dance | Sasha S

    Sasha S produces emotive imagery in both color and black & white. Much of his work features sculptural photo prints. He also captures silhouettes and vibrant candid photos as well.

    For our full collection of nimblephotons erotic photographs, view our art gallery.

    7. Craig Colvin

    Another California artist on the list, Crag Colvin is an award-winning erotic photographer from San Jose. His works have been featured in magazines and galleries all around the world.

    Scenic Erotica
    Jess in Iceland | Crag Colvin

    Colvin’s photography focuses on the form of the human body and he uses the body to capture and compliment the shapes and curves found in nature. Much of Craig Colvin’s photography features scenic nature shots paired with the nude female form.

    In addition to scenic photographs, Craig also makes use of geometric backgrounds for sharp contrasts against the body’s natural curves.

    Sculptural Photography
    Keira Stripes | Craig Colvin

    Colvin isn’t just a student of his craft, he’s also a teacher – teaching people around the world in workshops and online courses. Discover more of Craig Colvin’s photography in our gallery.

    6. Ben Horton

    Although based in LA, Ben Horton has made his name by traveling all over the world. Formerly working in the fashion industry, Ben moved into the worlds of fine art and exploration. A born adventurer and climber, his works feature images from views others can’t get to.

    IMAGE

    In addition to erotic fine art, Ben Horton shoots for National Geographic and his appreciation of scenic beauty filters into his dynamic and emotive imagery.

    IMAGE

    A born storyteller, Ben’s work is provocative and tantalizing. Discover more erotic photography by Ben Horton in our online art gallery.

    5. Perry Gallagher

    Perry Gallagher is a photographer of fine art nudes and erotic imagery. His work focuses on feminine beauty. Stylistically, he uses available light rather than studio lighting to create intimate, unique imagery.

    Fetish Photography
    Ready With The Cane | Perry Gallagher

    Gallagher’s work has been featured in magazines, exhibitions, and galleries all around the world. He works with many different styles of fetish photography and has a range of BDSM photography, costume, boudoir, and foot fetish art prints.

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    Photographer: Perry Gallagher

    An accomplished photographer with worldwide renown, you can explore more of erotic photography prints by Perry Gallagher in our online gallery.

    4. Nai Sirrom

    Nai Sirrom is a truly unique creative mind in fine art erotic photography. His work ranges from tantalizing to downright bizarre. He can deliver strong introspective work through simple minimalistic imagery.

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    Photographer: Nai Sirrom

    Sirrom’s imagery is not limited to minimalist photography. He also makes use of highly stylized photography for powerful storytelling. Sirrom makes use of both black and white photography and colorful, vibrant images.

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    Photographer: Nai Sirrom

    Beyond photography, he also produces erotic fine art through the mediums of mixed media and digital art. Discover and shop Nai Sirrom’s limited edition art prints online in our erotic art gallery.

    3. Niel Galen

    Self-described as “outrageous and cheeky”, Niel Galen brings a sense of whimsy to erotic photography. His work displays a playful side of capturing the beauty and sensuousness of the female form. Highly conceptual, his work toys with shadows and light.

    Romantic Photography
    Sicilian Farmhouse Kitchen | Niel Galen

    Galen’s work is full of contrast. With a sense of liberation coming through in his BDSM fetish photography pieces and his sculptural photographs capturing movement and dance.

    Fetish Photography
    Roof Top Mornings | Niel Galen

    Discover more thematic, sensuous and playful erotic fine art by Niel Galen in our online art gallery.

    2. Craig Morey

    Another award-winning erotic photographer featured in the Art Provocateur Gallery, Craig Morey has a long history in the industry. He was a contract photographer for Penthouse International during their peak in the 80s and 90s. Morey has also been featured in books and publications all over the world.

    Limited Edition Fetish Art
    Natalie 35660.12 | Craig Morey

    Currently, Morey specializes in portraiture and artistic nude photography. He is best known for his black and white erotic studio nudes but also experiments with color and scenic photography. In fetish photography, Morey is making waves with his evocative bondage art prints. His minimalistic bondage photography is emotive and tells a story all it’s own through shadow and light styling.

    Bondage Photography
    Natalie 81098.04 | Craig Morey

    Discover BDSM and erotic photography by Craig Morey in our online gallery.

    1. Aranka Israni

    Currently residing in New York, erotic photographer Aranka Israni is one of the few East-coast representatives on this list. Her exhibitions date back to 2000, predating her post-secondary fine arts education. Since then, her work has been on display around the world and has been featured in publications like La Provence and Vie Magazine.

    Sculptural Erotic Art
    Float | Aranka Israni

    With her artistic background including live video artistry, Israni’s photography captures movement and the transition between moments. She uses her camera to capture the emotional truth that the human form conveys. In her silhouette photography, she displays the duality of opposites in humanity, with a specific focus on the tension between masculinity and femininity.

    Silhouette Photography
    Loop | Aranka Israni

    Discover and shop limited edition prints of sculptural and erotic photography by Aranka Israni.

    Shop Limited Edition Erotic Photography Online

    Art Provocateur Gallery is the industry leader in shopping for limited edition erotic art. Our roster of artists consists of the best-established artist and rising stars in the industry. All prints come with the best printing quality and options. Discover leading erotica in limited editions and original art. Browse our online erotic art gallery for more.

  • One Of A Kind Erotica

    What Is Erotic Art

    Erotic art is often misunderstood. Scholars and artists alike can struggle to truly define erotic art. Most often they rely on explaining what erotic art isn’t, or on the idea of “you know it when you...

    Erotic art is often misunderstood. Scholars and artists alike can struggle to truly define erotic art. Most often they rely on explaining what erotic art isn’t, or on the idea of “you know it when you see it.”

    erotic art thomas donaldson
    Artist: Thomas Donaldson

    This lack of definition creates a challenge for the genre. We take a crack at an easy way to grasp definition.

    Definition of Erotic Art

    Erotic art is an art that either depicts sexual activity and/or is designed with the intent of provoking arousal. While it has erotic intentions, it is also something that can be appreciated as art if absent of arousal. It is fine art with erotic themes and/or imagery.

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    Starf*** by Rick

    This definition separates erotic artists from pornographers. Void of arousal, pornography is not typically artistically driven.

    As well, this definition avoids painting all sexual imagery as erotic art. For instance, the famous Baulé fertility statues depict a man and woman nude. Although they depict nudity, there is no erotic intent so they do not fall under the erotic art category.

    Instead, the purpose of these statues is to promote fertility. They’re actually a popular exhibit for couples who are trying to conceive. According to Ripley’s (who has the statues on display):

    Baule Statues
    Baulé Tribe | Fertility Statues

    “Thousands of women have testified that after trying to conceive for years. They got pregnant after laying their hands on the legendary statue’s.”

    These represent a clear example of the difference between nude and erotic sculptures.

    Why is Defining Erotic Art Important?

    All great art has its critics. But, erotica suffers criticisms and challenges that other genres aren’t as exposed to. One of the biggest reasons it is important to define erotic art is that a misrepresentation as pornography leads to its suppression.

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    Silence by Nai Sirrom

    Freedom of speech protects the arts. Pornography, however, is not privy to the same protections because of its classification as obscene.

    Art or Obscenity?

    In the famous Miller v. California 1973 trial, the courts established a three-factor rule that satisfies whether to legally categorize a piece as art or obscenity. Miller was arrested for selling, distributing, and publishing obscene materials. His defense: the works were not obscene because they possessed social value.

    Although his defense did not stand, the trial did lead to a standard for determining whether to classify something as art or obscenity. A piece must meet all three factors:

    Bodyscape Photography
    No Tilte No 7 | Yevgeniy Repiashenko
    1. * Whether the average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find that the works as a whole appeal to the prurient interest;
    2. * Whether the work depicts or describes sexual conduct or excretory functions, as defined by state law, in an offensive way; and
    3. * Whether the work as a whole lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.

    With regards to the first two points, they are subjective depending on the time and locations. The third point, however, is really the crux of what separates art from obscenity. Erotic art contains serious artistic value.

    The Philosophy of Erotica

    The philosophy of erotic art goes beyond arousal. It has been a part of human culture since our earliest discovered records. Erotica is part of who we are, and its artwork is a means of embracing human nature.

    Is All Erotic Art Nude?

    As evidenced in famous paintings, like Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam, not all nude art is erotic. But is all erotic art nude? This is a common misconception, but erotica does not rely on nudity.

    Erotic themes, situations, or suggestions do not require nudity. In erotic photography, the model’s clothing and posing can drive the erogenous appeal. A good example is burlesque photography where the model’s attire is sexually suggestive.

    Fetish Photography
    Woman Spitting Water | Tenaglia

    Erotic artists may also focus on body parts that are commonly linked to sexual interaction and/or arousal. An artist may specifically focus on sexualized body parts like legs, breasts, genitalia, hands, and feet to evoke something in the viewer.

    Whether through incorporating a fetish or the implication of sexuality, erotic art does not require nudity.

    Where to Find Erotic Art

    Today, there is no shortage of ways to discover art. Galleries, shows, and social media provide easy access for long time collectors or first-time buyers. Erotic art, however, has remained more elusive. Art Provocateur Gallery is the premier online gallery for erotic art.  Browse the largest selection of erotic art from some of America’s best erotic photographers.

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    This Is Lust | Toronto Art Event 2019

    Art Provocateur Gallery brings THIS IS LUST to Toronto - a special event dedicated to celebrating sexuality and beauty of the female form through nude art photography and erotic art. THIS IS LUST,...

    Art Provocateur Gallery brings THIS IS LUST to Toronto – a special event dedicated to celebrating sexuality and beauty of the female form through nude art photography and erotic art.

    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 disseminated 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 for sale. 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.

     

  • Goodbye Jan (woman with gun) by Jan Saudek

    Jan Saudek | Erotic Art Photography

    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 artists who have driven their passion for 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 erotic 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. Traveling to the USA was the first step that led Jan to succeed. 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 the 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 a 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)

    Another 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.

    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.

  • 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.