Thursday, October 21, 2010

Words of inspiration: A note from a fellow artist.

Over the years I've grappled with the very question you have proposed. What is appropriate within the societal context and why are the traditions of our present social consciousness willing to elevate violence as art, and erotica as suspect?

Much has been written on the subject, though its intentional exploration as application rarely sees the light of day. Moreover, within the artist, there seems to be a conditioned self-consciousness about pursuing erotica, beyond its tamest examples. The nude body engages in sex hits too close to home within the life experiences of many, while most extreme acts of violence, while sometimes entertaining as well as unsettling is (mostly) too remote from lived experience (unlike sex which is characterized as intimate and thus private.) Also religious doctrines with its interpretation of sex as sin continues to condition the social consciousness by characterizing the display of sex as something exploitative and the oldest defense against its portrayal in mainstream terms --- as something that is a dire threat to children.

However it is in my opinion that the current issues where sexual display is denied complete artistic merit arrives from how badly the porn industry depicts the erotic. Its pervasiveness has indicated to the public that explicit sex is soulless, mechanical and superficial. And since the porn consumer has little variety available beyond the fetishes offered as slight variations on a few genres, the public perception of sexuality is guided by some very unartistic examples. This in turn makes it difficult for explicit examples to overcome the social stigma associated with the prevailing images.

The central fight for you and others isn't to try to convince a public, which has largely rendered its verdict, but to forge ahead, defiantly, bravely and with strength of purpose. But the fight is costly and on top of everything, in order to manifest your work, you need allies (models) whom not only share your vision, but understand that art must merit more than established norms. Which means expanding our aesthetics, to include diversity of body types, ethnicity and challenging expressions.

Having seen your work, it has inspired me to challenge my own perceptions, because there's nothing I like more in art than courage of conviction. Of the few nudes I've produced, I have from time to time had to defend my work against charges of cultural and social impiety.

Sorry this is so long but the subject is worth exploring, and I applaud your efforts. It seems i can't get enough of what you're doing, and look forward to seeing more in the future, regardless of the themes.

Adam Narcross

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