SHe was just a student having fun somewhere, like everyone. But that photo, a personal life photo who should not enter in her professional life, caused her fail. This is pure privacy violation. And this is what you personally think about porn. There could be people who feel offended from this, and could choose to refuse a artist just because he draw erotic art. Well said, thank you. Some of the more famous illustrators do erotica.
I think. I heard that somewhere but I never looked it up myself. I know Milo Manara. He's a stunning artist who did erotic and port art, but he's so famous that he worked for Marvel Comic and Yamamay! Tristan is right, it highly depends on what kind of illustrator you want to be. I personally wouldn't mind if an illustrator creates "highly erotic" art if he has a great range of themes and styles that incorporate illustrations suitable for minors and other audiences.
But unfortunately highly erotic or pornographic art taints everything else you do and if a customer isn't looking for this kind of art, he might not want to contact you, because of the sexual themes. It won't be a problem if you want to work as an illustrator for erotic themes, but you should try to keep the sexual content separated from your other stuff if you want to attract a brought audience a bit of it is okay, but it shouldn't be the majority of your work.
Unfortunately it's very difficult to create "anonymous" art, because people will recognize your style at some point. If you have customers that pay for sex-themed art, it's okay, but you might not want to upload this kind of art in your public gallery maybe you can put it in a gallery that's only accessible for customers who directly ask for it.
I see. I will search thank you! Totally depends on what type of an illustrator you want to be. If you want to do children's book illustrations and that stuff show up when someone googles your name. Maybe a bad idea. If you want to do manga comics. It's probably fine. They are a bit more liberal with sexual stuff. Erotic stuff like this cghub.
I think that's their main source of income. They also did a lot of work for Wizards of the Coast. Good point. Thank you! Prev Next.
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Add a Comment:. Hide Media Preview Submit Comment. Add Media. Style Skin:. This may seem a silly question, especially to anyone who is familiar with art history and with the well-established tradition of erotic art in particular. But to students of modern aesthetics, that is, the philosophy of art and beauty from roughly the beginning of the 18 th century to the end of the 19 th century, that question will not appear absurd at all. Modern aesthetics famously built a wall between aesthetic pleasure, on the one hand, and sensual or sexual pleasures, on the other hand, leaving precious little room for works that aim to combine the two.
According to Kant, a pure aesthetic judgment is based entirely on a feeling of disinterested pleasure, i. But since works of erotic art are meant precisely to tap into and stimulate our sexual appetites and desires, it is hard to see how they can be the object of an aesthetic judgment.
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The sensual pleasure offered by such representations is very different from the enjoyment that occurs in an aesthetic experience and which results from the free play of the cognitive faculties of imagination and understanding. According to Kant, it is because aesthetic judgments are grounded not in any interest, but rather in the subjective conditions of cognition, which are shared by all rational beings, that they can lay claim to universality. Kant was not the first to introduce disinterestedness as hallmark of the aesthetic and isolate it as such from what is merely sensually or sexually appealing.
Anthony Ashley Cooper, the third Earl of Shaftesbury, is often credited with this insight. In his Characteristics of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times Shaftesbury already stated that the response solicited by beauty is one of rational and refined contemplation, far removed from the crude pleasures that we receive through our senses.
Here, beauty and sensual appeal, far from being antithetical, actually seem to go hand in hand. Still, Shaftesbury insists that the two kinds of pleasure are utterly distinct, even though, in this particular case, erotic pleasure may indeed follow in the wake of aesthetic pleasure. One could make a comparison, he writes, with someone who goes from contemplating the beauty of a tree to fantasizing about its tasty fruits. Both activities are pleasurable, but the pleasures involved are very different: one is a disinterested aesthetic pleasure, the other is a pleasure informed by our self-interest.
The contemplation of beauty, by contrast, is unique to us rational beings. But can one really draw the distinction in such absolute terms? Shaftesbury dismisses this line of thought almost out of hand. What whets and satisfies appetite of both humans and animals is not the striking form, but what lies beneath that striking form, that which is mere matter. Accordingly, the more a mouthwatering dish or body is viewed, the further they are from satisfying by mere view. Just as it is not the material that makes a sculpture beautiful, but rather the artistic intentions and designs that shape the material, so it is not the body in itself, something that is mere matter, that is beautiful:.
What is it you admire but mind, or the effect of mind? Tis mind alone which forms. All which is void of mind is horrid, and matter formless is deformity itself. Mind is the only true object of beauty. It is evident that, for Shaftesbury, erotic art, which is all about presenting desirable bodies and stirring up sensual pleasures, can have no legitimate place within the realm of the aesthetic. Like Kant, his primary focus is not art, but beauty.
Someone who does explicitly take up such a critical stance, however, is Arthur Schopenhauer. If Shaftesbury is the philosopher who inspired Kant to develop the theory of disinterestedness, then Schopenhauer is the philosopher who, inspired by Kant, has taken this notion of disinterestedness and worked it up into a fully-fledged philosophy of art. It ought to be shunned at all price in art, says Schopenhauer, because it.
Thus the beholder no longer remains pure subject of knowing, but becomes the needy and dependent subject of willing. Schopenhauer : In historical painting and in sculpture it consists in nude figures, the position, semi-drapery, and whole treatment of which are calculated to excite lustful feeling in the beholder. What he objects to is a particular treatment of the nude, one which is designed to excite lustful feelings in the beholder. In other words, what he targets and denounces is erotic art.
Like Shaftesbury and Kant he is drawn to make a comparison with food. Fruit is admissible as a subject matter for paintings. But what is not admissible are prepared and served-up dishes, depicted with a high degree of realism. Dutch still life paintings depicting oysters, herrings, crabs, bread, butter, beer, wine, excite the appetite and are objectionable for the exact same reasons as erotic paintings and sculptures, which excite sexual appetite, are objectionable: they stimulate the will and as such put an end to any aesthetic contemplation of the object.
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Modern aesthetics has cast a long shadow into the 20 th and even the 21 st century, and the idea that the aesthetic and the erotic are fundamentally incompatible has proved to be very influential throughout. Clive Bell, the great champion of aesthetic formalism, inscribes himself neatly in that tradition. In his landmark book, Art , he begins by drawing a sharp contrast between the aesthetic emotion, which is provoked by works of art in virtue of a certain pleasing combination of lines and colors, and sexual feelings and desires which are provoked by sensually appealing bodies.
The two could not be more different, he thinks:. Shaftesbury, one will recall, was revisionist in the opposite direction, refusing to employ the word beauty for that which is merely desirable. What about those works of art that appeal to our sensual feelings and desires and that are so popular with the man in the street?
Bell has no patience with ignorant folks who seek out pictures, poems, or music for these reasons. They are simply confusing the sensual and the aesthetic. Of course, this does not mean that paintings depicting pretty girls cannot be art. They can, but if they are art, they will be so despite their erotic content.
Tell them aloud, dear master, that you are not what they think you are, that a painting is for you a mere pretext for analysis. You needed … clear and luminous tones, and you introduced a bouquet; you needed black tones and you placed in a corner a Negress and a cat. Zola For Bell and his fellow formalists, significant form is the only important artistic criterion. In The Principles of Art , R. For Collingwood, a beautiful man or woman ordinarily means one whom we find sexually desirable.
Similarly, Monroe Beardsley insisted on a strict divide between the two sorts of responses and revised his theory of aesthetic experience when it was pointed out to him that it did not exclude sexual experiences from the realm of the aesthetic Beardsley Even in the 21 st century one will find philosophers who are deeply sceptical about the aesthetic and artistic potential of the erotic.
The more erotic a work of art, the more difficult it is to appreciate aesthetically. Matthen makes this claim in an essay review of The Art Instinct , a book on evolutionary aesthetics written by Denis Dutton, who also claims that eroticism is best avoided in art, though for different reasons than Matthen. While the latter considers the sexual response too distracting, Dutton argues that it is rather too crude and too basic to count as a proper aesthetic response.
As a consequence,. Just like a bowl of corn syrup and a plate of sugar will never be dinner, Dutton flippantly observes, erotic paintings, novels, and poems will never qualify as art of the highest order. It is certainly noteworthy that Dutton, who is the antipode of modern aesthetics in doing away with the very notion of a disinterested pleasure and assuming that matters of sexual reproduction are vital in explaining our interest in art and aesthetics, actually finds himself in the company of Schopenhauer, Kant, and Shaftesbury where erotic art is concerned.
To recapitulate: if disinterested, contemplative aesthetic responses are indeed irreconcilable with interested, bodily sexual responses, as so many philosophers of art in the past have thought, then there hardly remains any conceptual space for works that aim for both kinds of response. Yet, we do, as a matter of fact, have this longstanding tradition of erotic art, not just in the West but also in many non-Western cultures. How to account for this? Proponents of modern aesthetics could simply bite the bullet here and argue, as Mohan Matthen does, that erotic art tends not to be great art, or, following Bell, that erotic paintings, books, poems can only attain art status despite their erotic content.
But that is a big bullet to bite, by any standard. Not only are there so many outstanding works of erotic art, but the eroticism of these works is also more often than not an integral part of their status and value as art. To be sure, there are nude paintings and sculptures which seem to qualify first and foremost as studies in formal beauty certain sculptures of Henry Moore come to mind. That is why the great majority of aestheticians today prefer the other horn of the dilemma.
We need to talk about erotic art
Instead of denying the existence of genuinely erotic art, they will deny that aesthetic and erotic responses are antithetical and hence reject the basic tenets of modern aesthetics. Modern aesthetics and its 20 th century formalist and experientialist heirs have been criticized from many sides. But instead of offering a general critique, let us consider briefly some of the philosophers who, in attacking modern aesthetics, have explicitly pleaded for the inclusion of the sexual within the domain of aesthetics.
One of the most vehement early critics was Friedrich Nietzsche. The translations we have used are listed in the bibliography. Pygmalion fell under the spell of the beautiful statue he had created, but his enjoyment was certainly not bereft of any desire. And, as he writes in Twilight of the Idols ,. TI IX. The two experiences really share the same structure and phenomenology.
And the pleasure that one receives is not a disembodied, cognitive pleasure—a unique kind of experience that would set us apart from animals. Thus, while the erotic masterpieces of the past must qualify as regrettable anomalies for someone like Schopenhauer, Nietzsche has no trouble at all in giving them a place. Within contemporary aesthetics, Alexander Nehamas and Richard Shusterman are perhaps the two most high-profile philosophers to have made a serious and sustained effort to make room for the erotic within aesthetics and art.
In the first few pages of his book Only a Promise of Happiness , Nehamas lays his cards on the table. While eros should not necessarily be understood in a sexual sense here, Nehamas does think that erotic encounters provide an instructive model for aesthetic experiences in general:. The most abstract and intellectual beauty provokes the urge to possess it no less than the most sensual inspires the passion to come to know it better. Each judgment of beauty is future oriented, is identical with the spark of desire, and contains, in the words of Stendhal, a promise of happiness Stendhal 74; Nehamas For Nehamas, too, erotic art is not at all a recalcitrant exception in need of explanation.
Quite the contrary, it offers the best possible inroad to understanding what beauty and art are all about. Far from being an exercise in formal beauty, as Zola would have it, this is a painting that is precisely designed. Nehamas In several of his essays he argues that sexual experience itself can qualify as an aesthetic experience, since most of the crucial features attributed to aesthetic experiences are also attributable to erotic experiences: they are pursued and valued for their own sake, they are rich in intensity and stand out distinctively from the flow of ordinary humdrum experience, they display harmonies of structure and developing form, they are being subjectively savored but also intentionally directed at an object, they deeply engage thought, feeling, and imagination, and stimulate both body and mind 57, While not everyone will take the aesthetic recuperation of the erotic as far as Shusterman and Nehamas, very few philosophers today will deny the existence and aesthetic legitimacy of erotic art.
So, does this mean that the wall between the sexual and the aesthetic has been torn down? Not entirely. It seems more accurate to say that the battle lines have been redrawn. The suspicion towards the erotic may have largely subsided in contemporary aesthetics, but it has been replaced by a very pronounced scepticism of the pornographic. Many philosophers of art, including Roger Scruton, Jerrold Levinson, and Christy Mag Uidhir, deny that there is or can be such a thing as pornographic art.
In other words, they advocate a strict divide between erotic art and pornography. Some of their scepticism, one cannot fail to notice, bears a significant resemblance to the earlier resistance against erotic art. Pornographic representations are sexually explicit and rich in anatomical detail, Scruton points out, whereas works of erotic art rely on suggestion and, instead of focusing on certain body parts, will try to capture the individuality, personality, and subjectivity of the represented person.
The people in pornographic images are not nude, but naked. They are deprived of clothes, and as such exposed in an embarrassing way. One induces you, in the name of arousal and release, to ignore the representation so as to get at the represented, the other induces you, in the name of aesthetic delight, to dwell on the representation. This has been the single most influential argument in recent debates on the relation between erotic art and pornography, winning many supporters Matthen ; Nanay ; Neill but also attracting a substantial amount of criticism see, for instance, Kania ; Davies ; van Brabandt and Prinz ; Patridge After all, it seems that one can coherently and successfully aim at incompatible audience responses, as long as one does not expect these responses to be elicited at the same time, in the same audience see Maes As opposed to key representatives of modern aesthetics, both Levinson and Scruton have no problem acknowledging the existence of erotic art.
He does not even claim that art has or should have a purpose. Mag Uidhir asks us only to accept that if a work of art has a purpose, including perhaps the purpose of sexual titillation as is the case in erotic art, then that purpose must be manner specific. For a purpose to be manner specific, according to Mag Uidhir, is for it to be essentially constituted both by an action or state of affairs and a manner, such that the purpose is to perform that action or bring about that state of affairs in that particular manner.
A purpose is manner inspecific, on the other hand, if failure to perform the action or bring about the state of affairs in the prescribed manner does not necessarily constitute failure to satisfy the purpose. Still, regarding the central issue, he aligns himself squarely with other sceptics.
He, too, thinks that artists or pornographers attempting to produce something that is both erotic art and pornography, in fact attempt the impossible. However, recent critics of Mag Uidhir have raised doubts about his second premise Davies ; Patridge , as well as the general validity of his argument Maes Besides aesthetics, there are at least two other areas of academic study where the distinction between erotic art and pornography has been at the centre of serious philosophical debate: feminist theory and art history.
Kenneth Clark, mentioned earlier, famously stated to the Longford Committee Investigating Pornography:. To my mind art exists in the realm of contemplation … the moment art becomes an incentive to action it loses its true character. Longford This was his main objection to pornography: that it was in essence an incentive to sexual acts. However, as a justification for the radical separation of art and pornography this will not do.
Art is necessarily multi-layered, it is argued, whereas pornography is one-dimensional; it has only one job to do and therefore lacks the formal and structural intricacy, the cognitive complexity, and interpretive openness of art see, for example, Webb 6; Mahon 14; Wallace et al. But while the Isenheim Altarpiece and Liberty Leading the People may indeed be very complex works, there is good reason to believe that the insistence on the simplicity of pornography is itself the result of an oversimplification. Let us examine this claim in more detail. It is tempting to think of pornography as having only one, very rudimentary purpose: sexual arousal of the audience.
But a look at very early pornographic works, those that were produced in France and England between and , shows how misleading that conception is. Almost all pornographic works of that era deliberately used the shock of sex to criticize religious and political authorities Hunt With their truth-telling trope they were meant to function as a powerful antidote to the many forms of repression in society and often had the explicit aim to educate people about politics, religion, society, and of course, sex.
In anonymous bedrooms, bodies brought together by individual need and interest collide just like the atoms of the natural philosophers Jacob And the bodies themselves are described as machines powered by the relentless motion inherent in matter, by passions they cannot control:. The arrangement of our organs, the disposition of our fibers, a certain movement of our fluids, all determine the type of passions which work upon us, directing our reason and our will in the smallest as well as the greatest actions we perform. Men and women couple like machines.
Love for them is a tingling in the epidermis, a surge of liquids, a rush of particles through the fibers, and nothing more. Pornography of the enlightenment era also serves to tackle another misconception. It has been argued that, because the main aim of pornographers is to sexually arouse the audience, they are forced to include as many sexually explicit scenes as possible, leaving precious little room for plot development or formal intricacies Steiner Pornography, as Adorno already noted, lacks the beginning-middle-end form characteristic of literature Sontag Yet, again, this gives us far from a waterproof criterion for distinguishing erotic literature from pornography.
For instance, the structural complexity of the pornographic novel, Histoire de Dom B… Portier des Chartreux , with its embedded stories and variety of narrators, has often been noted by scholars Frappier-Mazur It could be thought that sexual arousal is such a powerful, bodily state that it must block out all other functions, most notably our cognitive faculties. Levinson claims that this is precisely what distinguishes sexual arousal from sexual stimulation, which he thinks is not incompatible with the cognitive activity required for aesthetic appreciation Other philosophers have challenged this controversial distinction Blackburn 52; Maes Moreover, even if one were to accept the animal-like nature of sexual arousal, that does not mean that it cannot be cognitively rewarding and artistically appropriate.
Braudy While questions of interpretation arise frequently in relation to works of erotic art, people rarely seem to have interpretive qualms where pornography is concerned. Indeed, if an interpretation typically attempts to account for those elements in a work whose presence is not immediately obvious to the target audience Carroll , there may seem no need for an interpretation in the case of pornography since it is all too obvious why such films or novels include one sexually explicit scene after another.
Still, here too it is important not to jump to conclusions. There are at least two different kinds of interpretative projects one could engage in, each with its own set of lead questions. The other question—What is the work about? Look at any photo or film of people making love, really making love.
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Steinem This idea that there is an important moral difference between erotic art and pornography, in so far as pornography focuses on sex that is aggressive, emotionless, or alienated, while the focus of erotic art is on love, passion, and equality between partners, has been very influential see, for example, Ellis 30; Mahon 15; Ridington However, delineating the distinctiveness of erotic art, as opposed to pornography, in terms of a particular content will not in and of itself establish that the latter is immoral, while the former is not.
As Theodore Gracyk has argued, the morally objectionable character of a representation can never be just a matter of represented subject matter. For an artist can decide to depict rape or other aggressive forms of abuse in an attempt to precisely warn and protest against such degradation of women or men recall the work of Kiki Smith. That is why Helen Longino is careful to define pornography as. Longino is only one of the many authors who have tried to capture what is morally problematic about pornography.
But the intricacies of that debate will not concern us here. Our focus is on erotic art, rather than pornography. Still, it is worth considering some of the more basic arguments, because they can be, and have been, put to use in discussions on the distinction between erotic art and pornography. Perhaps the most straightforward way to argue that pornography is morally objectionable in a way that erotic art is not is to argue that it is harmful. The harm that pornography does may occur in the production phase, and take the form of coercion, brutality, violence, or rape.
But even if no harm takes place in the making of pornography, and models are treated fairly and with respect, there can still be post-production harms. Some have argued that the pornographic materials themselves constitute harm because, as a form of hate speech, they silence and subordinate women MacKinnon ; Langton , ; Maitra Others have emphasized that exposure to pornographic material may cause harm Eaton By systematically eroticizing aspects of gender inequality, inegalitarian pornography is mainly thought to cause harm to a third party, in particular women, through the pernicious effect it has on its consumers Eaton Martha Nussbaum , for instance, has written a seminal essay on different forms of objectification and how they apply to pornography see also Stock It might be thought, and indeed Spero and others have argued, that these ethical terms may serve to demarcate erotic art from pornography—pornography being exploitative or objectifying in a way that erotic art is not.
This way of drawing the line is significantly problematized by the emergence of feminist pornography. Examples are films like Skin. Sun , dir. Mutual pleasure and consent are absolutely key in these pornographic works which seem to exhibit none of the moral flaws manifest in mainstream pornography no exploitation, objectification, or eroticization of gender inequality.
What is more, in rejecting sexual repression, self-oppression, and hypocrisy, these works are often said to have a positive, consciousness-raising force Willis ; Taormino et al. But even if one were to disregard this rapidly growing subgenre of pornography, and argue that there is something deeply wrong with any type of pornography, that in itself would still not justify a strict divide between erotic art and pornography.