• erotic art painting

    Mocking the Art Critic

    The birth of the art critic occurred at the very moment when art became available to the general public. When exhibitions that anyone could attend were inaugurated in the 18th century, the art critic...

    The birth of the art critic occurred at the very moment when art became available to the general public. When exhibitions that anyone could attend were inaugurated in the 18th century, the art critic suddenly appeared on the scene. To assume a role of a self-appointed connoisseur and arbiter of taste, the art critic merely had to pontificate in a manner that ensured everyone in his audience began to doubt their own abilities to understand art or recognize quality.

    William Powell Frith | A Private View at the Royal Academy (1881), Private Collection
    William Powell Frith | A Private View at the Royal Academy (1881), Private Collection

    “I wished to hit the folly of listening to self-elected critics in matters of taste, whether in dress or art. I therefore planned a group, consisting of a well-known apostle of the beautiful, with a herd of eager worshippers surrounding him.” – William Powell Frith

    Over the years the pompous art critic – today less likely to hold forth in a public space than communicate through obscure writing – has become an object of derision. The icing on the cake of this mocking of the art critic is a recent analysis by linguistics scholars of the language of the trade. They have concluded that there is indeed an International Art English that bears little resemblance to English as we mortals know it.

    Most of us are flummoxed by art criticism, not just by the language but also by the reason for its elevation to the rarefied atmosphere inhabited only by those “in the know.” Of course the idea of art speak is to ensure that most of us are outsiders and that we all have a burning desire to be insiders. Art critics are bound and determined to convince you that you can’t trust your own judgement but you can trust theirs. This is plain silly. You can, in fact, be your own art critic.

    Rorschach blot
    Rorschach blot

    Have a look at this Rorschach blot – a diagnostic tool used by psychologists. What do you see? There is no right or wrong answer. You’re on your own here. There’s no critic to tell you “it’s an abstract expressionist work of the mid 50s painted when Smith was taking his first anatomy class and it speaks of existential angst in the same painterly terms as Ad Reinhart’s black paintings.” What you, as the observer see, is what you get with this blot. That’s all there is to it. So what’s wrong with looking at fine art in the same way you look at a Rorschach blot.

    In a picture or a sculpture, you see what you see. Maybe looking a little more intently will reveal some hidden secrets but you don’t really need an “expert” to improve your vision. Trust your eyes. Whether you like what you see is up to you and no one else. It will depend on a whole raft of conditions from whether you are relaxed, well fed and comfortable as well as all those prejudices you hold in your mind. You do in fact, “know what you like” and you should be proud of this provided you “like what you know.” If not, get to know a little more about the unknowns that bother you.

    Egon Shiele, Crouching female nude with green headscarf (1890-1918)
    Egon Shiele | Crouching female nude with green headscarf (1890-1918)

    At first glance, you may not like this drawing by Egon Schiele. Is it because it’s not beautiful? Do you find nudes challenging for any number of reasons? Is it for you just too rough in execution?

    You may not like this nude. This might be because it fails to stimulate an erotic response in your mind. This doesn’t mean that you can’t appreciate the drawing as a work of art. Appreciation of art or recognition of its quality is entirely separate from your likes and dislikes. One can appreciate the form of a nude female without the subject looking like your personal ideal object of desire.

    Acting as your own art critic you could ask why this is so?

    Art is meant to be entertaining. With a critic hovering over your shoulder, literally or figuratively, you will constantly be on guard against being entertained when others say you should not. If you are your own critic this won’t happen, at least when you have learned to trust yourself in the presence of art. Relax and enjoy. Take in what you see and savor it like a great dish created by a fantastic chef. If you don’t enjoy a work of art in one way or another it’s perfectly OK to move on to the next course.

  • Thomas Donaldson 6849

    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.

    Thomas Donaldson 6849
    4-5-19 FADE TO GREY by Thomas Donaldson

    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 flatwork 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 caliber museum shows.

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

    Paperbag 7194

    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.

    The art market, some technical details.

    The pricing and evaluation of an individual piece of art is linked to the 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.

    One Of A Kind Painting
    The Return of Bettie Page | Corné Akkers

    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.

    Long term monetary value artists.

    Aranka Israni 5650
    Support by Aranka Israni

    Certain artists will always have lasting monetary value, unlikely to depreciate unless there is 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.

    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.


    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.

    Alice Zilberberg 5560

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Todd Monk 4726
    Wet and Wild by Todd Monk

    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.


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