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porn art sketches

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This post contains graphic nudity and may not be suitable for work environments. Just a few of the drawings are signed William Crawford, occasionally W. Many of the delicately rendered depictions appear on the backsides of ambiguous prison rosters dated And boy, did he draw. Buxom bombshells in leather bodices mid-rip, mustachioed gentlemen right out of a '70s porno, groups of two, three, four, and sometimes more, engaging in playful, even violent, sexual play.

Captured from a variety of angles and perspectives, Crawford creates jungle gyms of erotic exploration, each frame featuring a melange of licks, sucks, kisses and penetration, often complete with an eager onlooker. Some of the drawings contain dialogue, and some seem but a fragment of a larger, complex story. But due to the lack of information about the artist and his world, we're left to individually make sense of the rogue parts and positions.

William Crawford Untitled, Circa Graphite on paper Crawford's drawings, reminiscent of early fetish comics by Eric Stanton and Tom of Finlandincorporate trends dating back to the '70s and '80s -- the leopard miniskirts, hoop earrings, those damned mustaches.

And yet they were made, most likely, aroundleading many to believe Crawford had been locked up for years, removed from the pop cultural landscape that was flourishing around him. It had probably been just as long since he'd had a sexual partner.

The drawings can be disturbing. In one double-penetration scene, featuring three bodies smushed parallel like a sandwich, a man can be seen filming the sex act from the doorway. The kind of sex brought to life in Crawford's work, as you most certainly have ascertained by now, is not the kind of sweet love-making you do with your longterm honey on anniversary night. Viewers of pornographic pictures become thoroughly acquainted with all kinds of anatomical detail, but what remains hidden is what it is like to be engaged in such sexual licentiousness In art, Scruton points out, it is always the other way around.

A related and no less popular way of drawing the distinction is to say that pornography focuses on sex that is aggressive, emotionless, or alienated, whereas in art, and particularly in erotic art, love, passion, and equality between partners are of crucial importance Webb 2; J. Ellis 30; Steinem 31; Mahon 15; Ridington In support of this view, authors often appeal to etymology.

In line with this, Kingsley Amis and E. The question whether and in what way exactly pornography exploits, subordinates and objectifies women has generated a massive literature and a longstanding debate in moral 2 philosophy and feminist theory.

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I will briefly return to this issue in section 3, but since the aim of this essay is to investigate the artistic status and aesthetic dimension of pornography I will put the intricacies of that debate aside here. Another reason why pornography cannot be beautiful is offered by Roger Scruton in line with the previous point: The people in pornographic images are not nude, but naked.

They are deprived of clothes, and as such exposed or exposing themselves in an embarrassing way. When paintings are designed to excite lustful feelings in the beholder, he states firmly, aesthetic contemplation is abolished and the purpose of art is defeated In his testimony to the Longford committee on pornography Kenneth Clark voiced a similar complaint: It has only one job to do and lacks the interpretive openness of art.

Especially among art historians this appears a popular rational for separating art and pornography see, for example, Webb 6, Mahon 14, Wallace, Kemp, and Bernstein One is presented with the same kind of stock roles, sexual acts, flimsy narratives over and over again. This is not just a contingent feature of pornography.

EROTIC ART AND PORN – The Fine Line of Difference | Widewalls

Pornographic films, novels, magazines are inherently formulaic. Moreover, the actual sum of possible sexual postures, gestures, and consummations seems drastically limited. Both artists and pornographers deal in fictional worlds, but the imaginative creations of artists offer us a way of perceiving and understanding the reality we actually live 3 in. Pornography depicts the world as its customers would want it to be: It is a realm of pure wish fulfilment. For Gordon Graham, art offers the exact opposite: Steiner, for instance, accuses pornographers of doing our imagining for us and hence of showing no respect for the audience While a poet or painter will invite the consciousness of the reader or spectator to collaborate with his own in what is basically a joint creative effort, the pornographer treats his audience as mere consumers whose imaginative means are set at nil.

Objections and Counterexamples How successful are these attempts to differentiate art and pornography? The answer to this question will depend on how ambitious exactly one takes these attempts to be.

If the aim is simply to articulate some of the ways in which works of art can be different from the standard products of the porn industry, then there is really very little to find fault with. In Hustler Magazine we find formulaic, smutty pictures that focus on sexual organs and serve only one purpose.

porn art sketches

The thoughts or personality of the women depicted are of no importance. They are presented only as objects of male fantasy.

porn art sketches

Bathsheba realizes what this entails — she will have to sleep with the King and betray her husband — and sadly foresees the deceit and suffering that will be caused by this see Gaut for a more detailed analysis of the work. All this is subtly visible in her facial expression, which is the central focus of the painting. It is a multi-layered, serenely beautiful, supremely original work of art.

But most of the authors cited above aim to do more than just draw a contrast between such prototypical instances of art and pornography. They want to establish that art and pornography are mutually exclusive, so that if something is pornography it cannot be art and vice versa. But to make this claim convincing it obviously does not suffice to discuss examples that fit neatly into one of the two categories.

Rather, one needs to show that the proposed distinctions are immune to counterexamples. That is, before drawing a definite and strict line between art and pornography based on the above dichotomies, we need to be convinced that the qualities ascribed to art are necessarily missing in pornography and, conversely, that there are no works of art that possess those features which supposedly disqualify pornography from the realm of art.

That, I now want to argue, is a bridge too far. First, there are many works of pornography that actually possess the features exclusively ascribed to art in the list above. Far from being 4 formulaic, they have imaginative scenarios, featuring life-like characters in realistic situations. Beauty is a primary concern.

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Moreover, these works have an educational and emancipatory purpose in that they aim to offer insights into female desire and sexuality McEllroy chapter 6; Willis ; see Waugh for similar arguments in favour of gay porn.

There are also more general and fundamental objections against the above characterisation of pornography. Take the claim that pornography is one-dimensional. The experience of pornography, she argues, is intensely complex and fraught with all the complications of personhood. As such, pornographic novels, photographs or films have many potential uses beyond the classic one-handed one. They can and often do serve as means of social criticism and cultural critique Posner and Slade also elaborate on the many different uses of pornography.

A similar argument was made by Susan Sontag in her famous defence of literary pornography. Novels like The Story of O or Story of the Eye, she argues, are profound explorations of extreme states of human feeling and consciousness 42 and deserve to be ranked among the great achievements of the imagination.

Linda Williams, author of Hard Core and editor of Porn Studies, has made similar claims about pornographic cinema, pointing out that one seriously underestimates the imagination if one thinks that it can only operate in the absence of, or only at the slightest suggestion of sexual representation Screening Sex 19; see also Blackburn Perhaps Freud was right when he said that the genital areas in themselves are hardly ever regarded as beautiful, but that does not mean that representations of the genital areas cannot be beautiful.

Confronting Beauty, Pornography, and the Future of Feminism. He argues that, far from being uninterested, we must actually take an interest in the depicted subject in order for sensuous thoughts and arousal to arise. That is precisely why characters in pornographic films and novels are usually given some sort of identity and are embedded in a narrative leading into specific sexual encounters.

If the characters were straightaway represented in graphic sexual activity, it would be easier to see them just as bodies, as we might view animals copulating, but it would be harder to take a pornographic interest in them. To begin with, it is obvious that not all works of art are or are meant to be beautiful. When Roger Scruton praises the self-assured way in which the Venus of Urbino looks directly at the spectator, thereby signalling that she possesses her own body in a confident way instead of just being an object on display, he conveniently disregards other masterpieces by Titian, such as Venus and Adonis, Bacchanal of the Andrians and Danae and the Shower of Gold, where quite the opposite is true.

In this regard, one could also point to more recent and more explicit works by Marcel Duchamp, Yves Klein, or Hans Bellmer where women and young girls are unmistakably objectified and remain without agency Mey Similarly, Scruton believes that a work of art should never arouse the viewer or reader.

But if one were to use this as a criterion to exclude pornography from the realm of art, one would also have to exclude undisputed erotic masterpieces such as D. Surely, that is too high a price to pay.

Finally, there is the claim that pornography cannot be art because it is formulaic. One can reply to this argument in a number of ways. But one could also argue that being formulaic is not necessarily an artistically bad-making feature.

The same set of responses is available when facing criticism of the fantasy character of pornography. Moreover, being fantastical is not necessarily an artistically bad-making feature. Definitional Concerns The dichotomies presented in section 1 can help to illuminate the differences between certain prototypical instances of pornography and art, but they will not serve to justify the claim that pornography and art are mutually exclusive.

Of course, pornographic works might be said to have, by definition, no significant artistic or aesthetic aspect. Definitions of this kind inevitably bring to mind certain legal descriptions of obscenity such as the U. This test proposed a three-pronged criterion for obscenity: The Miller test has proved problematic in many respects, one of its most evident flaws being the conflation of two ideas — the pornographic and the obscene.

Recent philosophical attempts to define the obscene have taken this insight on board — allowing for non-pornographic obscenities as well as pornography that is not obscene. Some of these accounts also do not exclude the possibility of obscene art e. For instance, if you wish to convince the local authorities to ban pornography from newsstands, then a normative characterisation will prove a powerful tool. Local officials will certainly be hard-pressed to fail to be at least a little motivated to remove instances of undiluted anti-female propaganda from public view.

So, she argues, a philosophical enquiry into the moral status of pornography should start with a value-neutral description of what pornography is. Only once we know what it is are we in a position to evaluate its moral status.

Similarly, one could say that a philosophical enquiry into the artistic status or aesthetic dimension of pornography should start with a value-neutral characterisation of pornography.

porn art sketches

Indeed, the philosophical debate about whether or not pornography can be art would simply be a non-starter with a normative definition like the ones proposed by Elliott or Berger. That being said, an adequate value-neutral definition of pornography that captures as much of the extension as possible of what we ordinarily think counts as pornography is not easy to find. When Bernard Williams chaired the Committee on Obscenity and Film Censorship in the s he proposed the following definition: The first condition is needed because there are sexually explicit representations that we would not ordinarily label as pornography, e.

The second condition is more controversial. Levinson, for example, argues that some erotic paintings and photographs are just as explicit or even more explicit than pornographic pictures. He therefore proposes a different way of distinguishing between the two.

porn art sketches

According to Levinson, pornographic representations are essentially aimed at sexual arousal, whereas erotic images are aimed at sexual stimulation. However, given that sexual feelings, thoughts and desires are typically accompanied by and conducive of sexual arousal, it is hard to see how this distinction is more plausible and useful than the one it seeks to replace.

Another objection against the second condition has been raised by both Michael Rea and Christy Mag Uidhir. The fact that magazines directed at bondage fetishists need not be explicit to be arousing seems to indicate that sexual explicitness is not a necessary condition for something to count as pornography.

porn art sketches

But this is hardly a knock-down argument. Surely, the fact that a model is wearing leather instead of lace cannot make all that much difference? It is worth noting in this respect that some of the alternative definitions of pornography, while seemingly value-neutral, on closer inspection turn out to be normative. According to Rea, x is pornography if and only if it is reasonable to believe that x will be used or treated as pornography by most of the audience for which it was produced.

He then goes on to specify what it means to use something as pornography. He lists four conditions, including the following: