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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.

     

  • 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.

  • Fetishes: leather straps and belts

    Fetishes | Intrigue and Sex

    There is a daring allure in the word “ fetishes.” Closets filled with shoes, or men obsessed with women’s feet are common representations. The dictionary definition of the word tends to portray it...

    There is a daring allure in the word “ fetishes.” Closets filled with shoes, or men obsessed with women’s feet are common representations. The dictionary definition of the word tends to portray it as a negative concept. “Abnormal” is a word used to define fetish, and oftentimes latex clothing comes to mind for many at the mention of it as well. The “true” definition of a fetish is one’s inability to experience sexual gratification without the presence of an object they find particularly critical to their sexual experience. In fact, the word comes from the French term fetiche, meaning “to make,” and was originally used to describe an object with supernatural power. However, in today’s society, the term fetish is used far more generally and covers a broad range of interests and desires.

    The idea that “true” fetishes are actually psychologically abnormal is derived from the medical definition of a fetish: When an individual must experience sexual pleasure only through the presence of a particular thing, inanimate or otherwise, this can interfere with relationships or disturb day-to-day function. While that may be, the broader and more general use of the term to describe an interest in particular, sexual activities is the more common use.

    Fetishes: leather straps on nude female body
    Fetish Leather Straps

    The psychology behind them are as complex as the psychology behind any individual’s sexual interests. Human beings are unique individuals. What causes one person to prefer potatoes and another to despise Swiss cheese? One could endlessly discuss the possibilities and probabilities. Jane may enjoy being tied up while Lisa enjoys foreplay involving nipple clamps. Neither of them necessarily require those things to experience sexual gratification, but they enjoy engaging in the activities, nonetheless.

    Fetishes are often experienced through depersonalization.

    Fetishism is often experienced through depersonalization with latex body suits, corsetry, the simplicity of preferring a particular position during sex, blindfolds, whips, crops, paddles, being tied up or tying up someone else, reverence or “worship” of a specific area of the body, and countless others. If one can dream it, someone somewhere likely has a fetish for it. It is interesting that many men of the Victorian era are said to have developed foot fetishes as a result of the strict head-to-toe attire of women at the time. This very claim asserts that a concept can become sexualized all the more if it is kept away or hidden from view like a secret. This lends an intriguing psychological perspective on all fetishes and the endless possibilities of their origins.

    Many with fetishes either do not know or do not care about where their particular interests originated for them. Perhaps an awkward introduction to a crop against their skin prompted an eventual desire for the sting of a whip or flogger. Childhood games may have been the catalyst for an adult with a rope fetish. Many consider their sexual activities to be a “journey,” travelling toward a sort of enlightenment and further knowledge about themselves. Whatever the perspective, fetishism is arguably widely misunderstood.

    Fetishes: Rope Bondage
    Rope Bondage

    As in the case of an individual who wishes to submit and be dominated but does not wish to sexually interact with anyone: Someone who wishes to be of service or submit in other ways. It has been stated by psychologists that sexuality and sexual activity is at least ninety percent mental, therefore, the objective of a submissive person could be to fulfill a sexual need that is mental but doesn’t necessarily need to be physical.

    The physicality of fetishism is often communicated in a social way at adult events like “fetish balls” and BDSM clubs. These events are quite popular among many fetishists. If ever planning to attend one, go with a companion, as putting safety first is always wise. Events like these often include “play” areas, where those interested in exploring their own fetishes can experience them in a theoretically safe and enjoyable environment. As a rule, sex doesn’t usually take place at these events because the focus is on the fetishes themselves and not sexual intercourse.

    Exploring the unknown can be intimidating, but getting to know one’s own sexual interests/fetishes can be empowering, uplifting, and exciting. In a light-hearted, safe, and enjoyable environment, exploring one’s own fetishes need not carry a stigma of shame.

    JB, Minneapolis (2016)