If I were entering the erotic art shows this year, I would choose from this set of images
Disclaimer: These are not “new” images in the sense that they were taken a year or so ago. One of them is 12 years old. This is the first time any of the images have been edited, however, which makes the resulting image a new work, strictly speaking.
The email hit my inbox a couple of weeks ago, with an “important” label attached to it; the Seattle Erotic Art Fair had issued its annual call for entries. Previously, that would have been my signal to start shooting contest-worthy content. That’s not happening this year but that doesn’t mean the email didn’t solicit an urge to produce something artistic.
Since this was the first weekend in quite a while that I haven’t been completely exhausted, I thought I’d go through some of the unprocessed images we shot last year and see if I could create anything that might be worthy of inclusion in any of the increasingly picky erotic art shows around the country. Not that I plan on submitting anything. Even if something were selected, the cost and effort of pulling prints and framing, and shipping is more than I care to tolerate at the moment.
Still, it’s fun to imagine, “What if…”
What follows is a full day’s worth of editing with only minor interruptions and frequent software crashes. AutoSave has been my friend on this adventure. This has also been a day of continually questioning, “Am I done?” and “What would happen if I…” A tweak here. A broad change there. Oops, have to reboot the computer.
Instead of the normal gallery, I’m listing each one here with a description or “artist’s statement” if you’re into that sort of thing. At the end, I would be very interested in knowing which of them you would enjoy seeing hanging on a wall. No telling when/if this will happen again, so enjoy.
Emily In Abstract
How one chooses their definition of “erotic” is personal. For some, it is the sight of a bare ankle, a well-formed deltoid muscle, or the slightest hint of cleavage. Others need more provocative imagery. This image plays to the former. There is the outline of underwear. The curve of a breast might be visible, but the nature of the work makes it unclear whether the subject is genuinely nude. I’ll not tell you if she is.
A Post-Impressionist’s Nap
Stretched out across the bed, exhausted, not bothering to get under the covers. Her legs dangle off the side. She won’t sleep long, her body won’t allow it, but while she sleeps her dreams whirl in circles that are vaguely familiar and, at the same time, wholly forgettable. She won’t remember the dreams when she wakes, but her body feels their effect.
Memories of Egypt
Who can say what draws one to study an ancient civilization? Are we attracted to the history, the culture, and the lingering effects of a people now marginalized? Or could there be something deeper, a spiritual connection that draws one to the iconography of a scarab, a cat, or a bird? Perhaps it is a longing to play in all that sand, those ancient grains that have been present in the land since the time of pharaohs. History and culture stir a unique form of eroticism, an unknown yearning that reaches deeper than any physical touch.
Lonely Morning Light
Nights with a lover are wonderful. The enjoyment of bodies coming together is perhaps the most special event we experience. When morning comes, however, and one finds themselves alone, the pleasure of the night before fades, and questions enter our minds. Was the encounter meaningful or just a passing dalliance? Do they love? Am I worth loving? Silently, she sits there, gazing out the window, pondering questions that have no answers.
I’m not a fan of putting long titles on things when short ones will do. Tease fits this image because the action involved is but a precursor of things to come. This is where excitement builds, anticipation is ignited. The quality of everything that follows is determined at this moment and yet either person can still stop, wait, or even leave. For some, the tease is the best part of the game. Knowing exactly and when to tease is an art and there aren’t nearly enough artists.
Reflections of Our Love
Take a moment to adjust your view. If you’re looking at this on a small device such as your phone, the details of this image may be difficult to see. This is one of those pictures that looks better in print than it does digitally. I find mirrors are an important part of the erotic experience. They allow us to witness more deeply the joy our partner is feeling while also silently showing us where we need to improve. Most importantly, mirrors reflect how we feel for each other, and that makes all the difference in a relationship.
As a pianist, the importance of finger exercises was drilled into my head at an early age. Building muscle memory, strength, and endurance are critical if one ever hopes to perform the major pieces. The same is true for anyone who has ever loved a person with a vagina. Knowing where, when, and how to touch takes careful and repeated practice. Every person’s erotic touch points are unique and require the same amount of finesse as one might use with a major concerto. In those dark hours of the night when the only illumination is the dappled reflection of a street lamp sifted through the leaves of the tree outside the window, the exercise pays off as pleasure is provided in wave after wave.
There are times when I struggle with how best to represent the eroticism of a moment. At times, a photograph can be too real, to the point of taking an act of fun and beauty and turning it into something cold and grotesque. I firmly believe that emotional disconnect is what leads some to refer to erotic art as pornography. My answer to that problem is to remove the reality of place and time and instead attempt to represent the emotion. Of course, that still doesn’t mean everyone will see an image the same as I do. That’s okay. At least we provide a different perspective.
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