Art Versus Porn – What’s the Difference?

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Comments

  1. Vicki Ghist says:

    I do not see were nakedness becomes porn.

  2. Porn can be artful. I think it probably turns to porn when the focus is on sexuality but even then it’s subjective. A vulva is artful, but also sexually arousing for some. A chest is both as well. Maybe porn should just be limited to sexual acts? A woman spread eagle lying back may not be porn but if she’s spreading her labia then that probably is porn.

    I never really liked the porn vs art debate, I think porn can be art however good or bad it may be (skill wise, lighting, etc).

  3. Good perspective about art, sensuality, and porn. I wrote about Sensual Photography as my post-graduate thesis and I also explained the difference between sensuality and pornography there.

  4. Why? What’s the point of the question? What does one gain by making a distinction if one isn’t a censor?

    As far as I’m concerned, they’re two non-exclusive categories: some art is pornographic; some porn is artistic. Some of each isn’t the other, and it doesn’t matter a whit.

    All I care about is whether images and films entertain me, make me think, get me off. Some (the stuff i like best) does all three.

    • Very good point. It’s not clear that attempting to separate the world of images or sculpture into two clearly marked and distinct boxes marked “art” and “porn”.

      One of my favorite examples was always Bernini’s “Ecstasy of Teresa”. No doubt this is fine art, and a spectacular work of sculpture, by one of the masters. According to Bernini, it’s an image of religious ecstasy, but, really, we all know what Teresa is up to (just have a look at a closeup, like this: http://www.flickr.com/photos/profzucker/7827270176/).

      So, is this porn? Sure. Is it art? Most definitely. Is it important? Not at all. It’s a spectacular piece – I’d certainly encourage anyone visiting Rome to go visit the Santa Maria delle Vittoria church to see it.

    • That was my reaction to–who’s interested in drawing the line except prudes and anti-porn crusaders, whose opinion doesn’t matter anyway?

  5. How about this? If it’s something that without explicit nudity and/or sex would be called entertainment rather than art, then with explicit nudity/sex it is pornography rather than art. Of course, the entertainment/art line is itself utterly fuzzy and controversial (with plenty of overlap), but I think it’s probably fuzzy and controversial and involves overlap in about the right places to match up with any remotely interesting porn/art line.

  6. You can watch art with your Mother.
    You can hang art in the guest bathroom.
    You can leave art books out on the coffee table.

  7. wellokaythen says:

    It’s partly a question of time, isn’t it? Let enough time pass, and any bit of porn will become art. What makes something “porn” is, in part, its newness. Let any piece of creativity, no matter how petty or juvenile, get moldy long enough, and it becomes “historical” or “classic” or “emblematic” of a particular style.

  8. There are many great masterpieces which were originally pornographic. When we think of the Italian Renaissance we usually think of Madonna and Child, but there countless paintings, sculptures, plates, chests, you name it that were commissioned to get people going. Most consider the Titian’s Venus of Urbino to be the first known commissioned porn (pretty different from now huh?). And a lot of art referencing homosexual love or lust had to be done very subtly. If sex is human instinct and we haven’t given up on still images why is it that we still get turned on by Greek pottery? Is it context? Does a porn video or image shown in a museum or gallery strip it of it’s title as porn? Is it time?

    Some of my favorite exhibits regarding sex: Met Museum–Love and Marriage in the Italian Renaissance
    Leopold Museum–Nude Men
    Hide/Seek–National Portrait Gallery, Brooklyn Museum, Tacoma Art Museum

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