No art form has captured humanity, shaped cultures and divided opinions as much as erotic art.
One of the oldest existing art forms, erotic art has come to be a widely recognized and respected art because of its foundations in the history of civilization and its ability to create dialogue and controversy.
Erotic art has been explored by most cultures throughout the ages and its beginnings can be traced back to the paintings and carvings of Paleolithic times. However, most famous historical pieces of erotic art are evident in the periods of Ancient Greece and South America. Some of the most revered erotic art comes from the East, with well known art like India’s Kama Sutra, still popular among erotic art lovers today.
So how do we define erotic art and why is it celebrated as one of the most influential art forms in history?
Generally, a distinction is made between the term ‘erotic art’ and ‘pornography’, with the former, an art that intends to capture and represent the beauty of love and sex, using formal artistic elements, and the latter, something that is created with the sole intent of sparking sexual arousal. Sometimes, the line between erotic art and pornography can become quite blurred, especially in modern day art, where debate and controversy surround many forms of music, sculptures, photography, painting and writing. Even if the intention is purely artistic, many forms of erotic art, both throughout history and in today’s society, are labeled as ‘obscene’ and are frowned upon.
We will explore the concept of controversy in erotic art through our series of articles on the history of erotic art and its existence in modern day culture. We will examine the reasons and the cultural and political motivations behind society’s response to erotic art and ultimately discover why it remains one of civilization’s most polarizing achievements.
Join us in this erotic and profound journey.