INDULGE IN THE EROTIC WITH THIS YEAR’S EROTIC: PASSION & DESIRE AT SOTHEBY’S

For those interested in acquiring some fine pieces of erotic art there is still time to indulge in your interests in this year’s sale of Erotic: Passion & Desire taking place at London auction house Sotheby’s on 15th February and online.

Following on from their very first auction of this nature last year, Sotheby’s has revisited this wealth of art bringing together another varied and diverse collection of 89 different pieces spanning over many different periods.

Erotic art continues to draw much attention, last year’s sale was evident to that raising £5,297,000 exceeding the combined pre-sale estimate of £3.1 – 4.6 million, with almost half of the works sold achieving prices above the high estimate.

Dipping into this year’s auction of art you can feast your eyes and personally bid online (if your wallet is large enough) on works from the masters of contemporary art such as Henri Matisse and Picasso through to the more fashion-led photographic pieces such as the beautifully lit imagery of Richard Avedon of Nastassja Kinski and The Serpent and the 80’s photos of the defined naked male torsos by Robert Mapplethorpe and Andy Warhol. But within this collection of fine art, sculpture, photography, and design you can admire some interesting use of technique and style.

Andy Warhol 'ALBA CLEMENTE', CIRCA 1984

I was taken by the submerged looking approach of Chris Levine capturing a topless image of Kate Moss, and the composition of Jack Vettriano’s oil of Models in the Studio, where just the flash of her stocking top with her cool composed demeanor adds a subtle erotic tension. Terry Rodgers (featured post image) for his modern bold style of oils featuring beautiful sexually liberated people engaged in private gatherings. For sculpture admirers, there is the classic erotic beauty of lovers entwined by the Belgian Jean Decoen of Le Baiser, the kiss, or the charm of a watercolour of Two Nudes by Sir William Russell Flint.

For classic lovers of the old Playboy print, there is a pictoral 4-page wrapper with 4 colour inner pages featuring a nude full-page photograph of sexy screen siren Marilyn Monroe dating from 1953.

But with so much flesh on show for both beauty and arousal, we have to ask where does erotic art merge into what some might call pornographic art?

When admiring the image of Rankin of Stefani Reclining, the image is beautiful and offers an understanding of her sexual self, as she lies back naked all but for some stockings and semi-sheer suspenders. However, the care of the image portrayed is not gratuitous or obscene but there to express and capture a charm of her beautifully shaped body and her natural sexual being. In other words, it’s not exploited purely to be offensive or degrading but presented to depict, reflect and indeed celebrate a positive and erotic aspect of sexuality. Surely, therefore, we should take that approach into our adult online world and ensure that we continue to reflect the way we portray the positive beauty of sex in our adult films.

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