View Full Version : "Artistic Pornography"

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11-03-2006, 03:59 PM

Why can't Artistic Nudes in Color as well as B&W. There are many thinks that can be done in color including the lighting, gels, etc.


Fine..color too....

11-03-2006, 04:01 PM
There is no subject that is iherently excluded from being depicted in art.

11-03-2006, 04:02 PM
but what about the way it is depicted?

Claire Senft
11-03-2006, 04:45 PM
I believ that porn can be done with great artistry. Robert Marplethorpe certainly, in my opinion, was able to do so. Of course there will be those that will not consider any of his work porn and some others which will consider it not to show artistry. There will also be people that will become extremely upset with viewing such work..so upset that it might as well have a swaztika in it.

11-03-2006, 05:29 PM
Personally I believe that what we call "porn" stimulates one area of your brain that has to do with physical sexual arousal, while what we may call "art" stimulates a part of the brain that has to do with mental arousal.

A healthy mixture of both in moderation makes the world go round.

Sometimes you feel like a nut and sometimes you don't.

It's all good.


11-03-2006, 05:41 PM
"The Texas Chain Saw Massacre" astonished me by being at once, stupidly scary, and incredibly well and beautifully photographed. It's shot in a rich black and white that contributes immeasurably to it's ability to shock , but also to its' aesthetic value. High art and base content...go figure...

So, can pornography, whatever it is, be artistic as well as erotic? I'm sure it can. It's just that I've yet to see pornography where anyone bothered to even try.

Michel Hardy-Vallée
11-03-2006, 07:27 PM
Yes- I saw it and I thought it was one of the more "authentic" movies I've seen in a long time, especially with regards to the lead actress, the Chinese-Canadian Couples Counsellor (say that five times fast... hereafter referred to as the C4). The Jamies rang a bit stereotypical and flat to me, honestly. Justin Bond was a hoot, though. He served as a great foil to the C4, because he served essentially the same function as she did, but in actuality with more success. He was able to help her, when she was unable to really help the Jamies. Then again, she did get through to Severin, the dominatrix.

On the whole, I think JCM did a terrific job with making explicit sex a legitimate part of the story. The movie wouldn't work as a story without the explicit sex. That said, it definitely qualifies for an NC-17 rating. The first five minutes of the film ensure that.

Yep, I think "authenticity" was the key concept, and not the kind of bleeding heart authenticity, but the more matter-of-fact one that is at the same time more profound.

One other work it makes me think of, at least partly, is the Alan Moore/Eddie Campbell graphic novel "From Hell." It's not my favorite work, but there are a few instances of explicit sex in it that are properly woven into the story.

Perhaps there was a medium-specific argument in what JCM was doing: in a literary fiction, when the characters have sex, it's real sex within this fictional world. Cinema however has the particular feature of being able to break through pure make-believe and go into the actual world. I don't want to bring the whole photo-is-real-is-not-shut-up-no-you-shut-up bickering, but suffice it to say that the way we make movies (or photo), we can represent actually happening acts, and that's where it's unsettling and powerful. (Of course there is also simulation in cinema, but everyone already knew that...)

11-03-2006, 07:42 PM
Before we can have "Artistic XXX" we must decide what "Artistic" means... (after all, if I asked you to make motor-oil jello, you'd need to know what motor oil and jello are... before you might combine them)

Thus - I must declare this endeavor null and void, for we all know we cannot possibly decide what Art is..

OTOH - this subject makes me think of this site:

NOTE - EXPLICIT CONTENT - moderate yourself! ('cause we soooo don't want to hear you rant)

11-03-2006, 07:46 PM
I find some wars, particularly a current one, pornographic (i.e. in its actual definition obscene) and, for example, much of Mapplethorpe's work, rampant or otherwise quite beautiful.

Damn, might as well get slaughtered here, I even find some of J-PW's work artistic. Now where did that thread go?

It's about personal definition of words and for me pornography means obscene and, er, artistic doesn't. That's not to mean that I like everything artistic, there's a lot of crap about. Just my humble opinion.....

11-03-2006, 07:51 PM
I was raised in Missouri in the Midwest ("Flyover region" for the coastal dwellers who haven't bothered with basic geography... :rolleyes: ) - and the place is very conservative:o . For that area, I think the following definition hits about 80-90% of the people living there:

Pornography: Anything involving partial or full exposure of primary or the main part of secondary sexual organs under any context, or anything involving sexual acts (i.e. involving primary or secondary sexual organs, or WOULD involve them if you could make it out in the picture, statue or film) of any kind (such as a love scene in a movie, though passionate kissing alone won't qualify since I think lips would be tertiary in this case). Also any sexuality of any kind depicted between non heterosexuals.

Caveat: This is NOT an intellectual definition meant to be argued over between Coastal types and "Flyover" types - it is meant to fence off an area of human activity and label it, pat each other on the back, and get on with life. It won't (and doesn't) stand up to a lot of scrutiny, and as politicians in the Midwest don't want to be seen as mideval, will end up when pressed blustering out the typical "I know it when I see it" answers - even though I doubt they really believe Michelangelo's David is not porn.

I think that ought to do it.

Even people who are from "Flyover" (even me) who think they are and try to be enlightened, will at least feel (inwardly) mild discomfort when exposed to that sort of thing, even if it is meant to be artistic or "erotic" or whatever. It has been internalized - and is not an intellectual process. I suppose this is appropriate, since sexuality itself is not an intellectual process (how's THAT for rationalization! ;) )

Since many other types won't have been raised with the above definition, and many have - I can see how there may be "debate" about it ....

[Now if this doesn't kill the thread ... I don't know what will! :p ]

Just to make it clear, the respondents stated specifically that the statue was pornographic. They were not asked questions about a criteria, and the statue met that criteria. They directly stated that "Michelangelo's David is pornographic" Yes, simply amazing, but Utah is a little behind the midwest. In illustration, most recently an Auguste Rodin exhibit was allowed, but the work was draped. I find that attitude far more revolting than pornography.

Peter De Smidt
11-03-2006, 07:54 PM
Without having read thru this thread, I'm gona say that porn is penitration either by self or other.

Course it could be said that while Artistic Porn can exist, Tasteless Nudes can as well.

So suppose a medical textbook has a picture of a doctor performing a prostate exam. According to your definition, that would be porn.

11-03-2006, 07:56 PM
Without having read thru this thread, I'm gona say that porn is penitration either by self or other.

Course it could be said that while Artistic Porn can exist, Tasteless Nudes can as well.

So then say, licking is okay then,.... cool. ;)

11-03-2006, 07:58 PM
So then say, licking is okay then,.... cool. ;)


11-03-2006, 08:00 PM
So suppose a medical textbook has a picture of a doctor performing a prostate exam. According to your definition, that would be porn.

It can be for the right person....

Ed Sukach
11-03-2006, 08:10 PM
Two reasons: 1.the women want to get their men aroused and apparently will do anything. (women sometimes create their own problems) 2. their men don't have the balls to get it themselves! sorry
Oh. And how do you know that?

It is a theory of mine (I just re-read this. I'm NOT the only one with that theory) that the more a desire is repressed, the more it will be sublimated and surface at another point. I believe sexual desire is as strong in women as it is in men, but slightly - somewhat - more surpressed.... therefore there is more of a need for release.

There was a classic defense to a felony charge of disseminating (oh, the irony of that phrase) pornographic material - "material that violated community values" in a town in Utah. The defense subpoenaed the local Cable Channel records that showed that the incidence of viewing "Adult" channels was *significantly* higher in that particular area - more than twice the national average. So much for "community standards". The case was dismissed.

Repression is not a good thing ... but there is something called "decorum" that is not to be ignored, either.

I guess the answer her is the same as it is is in many other areas of human activity -- BALANCE is nearly everything.

11-03-2006, 08:10 PM
The definition of pornography need not be rigid, and I don't think it's possible to delineate it by content alone.

Pornography fundamentally is exaggerated sexual activity (or suggestion) construed in a way that will arouse the audience.

But why does that require penetration? The solo shoots in Hustler fully qualify as pornographic, even if no penetration is taking place.

In fact why does it even require nudity? You could film two people 'dry-humping' fully clothed, moaning, and talking dirty to each other, and most of us would agree it's porn.

I think when beauty and composition come into the picture, then you start to have an element of art -- and there's no reason why something otherwise pornographic couldn't cross over into that realm. Maybe the artistry of it would make it 'not quite porn' and the physical banality of it would make it 'not quite art', but why does there have to be a strict boundary between the two?

Peter De Smidt
11-03-2006, 08:15 PM
How about this:

A representation is pornographic if and only if it's main purpose is to cause sexual arousal.

A representation is successfully pornographic if and only if it's pornographic, and it succeeds in causing arousal.

A couple points: These definitions don't imply anything about the morality of pornography. Moreover, these definitions can admit of degrees, as some things can be more or less pornographic depending on the hierarchy of intentions involved. For example, I consider a number of commercials and television shows to be pornographic, and yet the main purpose of them is to make money. So not only are they pornographic, they're commercial.

Many definitions try to distinguish pornography from eroticism. I've never found any of these definitions to be remotely plausible. What they all come down to is the definer classifying sexual representations that they like as eroticism, and those they don't as pornography.

Here's an example, some people claim that sexual representations that show intimacy are good, whereas those that don't are bad. Well, what would representing sexual intimacy amount to? Showing tenderness? Cuddling? Leaving the door open when you take a crap? Yikes. Intimacy by itself doesn't necessarily make anything better or worse, and thus it can't turn something bad (pornography) into something good (eroticism). (I'm not saying that pornography is bad, but the people who make these types of distinctions tend to do so.)

Finally, words mean what we use them to mean, and since people use words quite differently, there's no reason to think that we'll come up with a universally acceptable definition.

Peter De Smidt
11-03-2006, 08:18 PM
It can be for the right person....

But that's not how definitions work. A definition is supposed to provide necessary and sufficient conditions for predicate application. As such, a definition can be either too wide, i.e. they can include things that aren't really the thing in question; or they can be too narrow, i.e. they can leave out things that are the thing in question.

You defined pornography as something involving penetration. I cited an example of something that is not necessarily pornographic but does involve penetration. Hence your definition is too broad.

11-03-2006, 08:19 PM
It can be for the right person....

Hopefully not for anyone who has to perform them for a living.

Being a physician and having performed innumerable 'sensitive' exams on patients of both genders, nothing could be less sexual than an encounter like that. You're dealing with a patient who is scared, uncomfortable, ill, or all three. And all you care about is doing a good exam, getting the info you need, and making sure your patient trusts you and is free of any unnecessary discomfort or fear. Throw in gloves, exam room lighting, chaperones, etc, and I can't imagine how it would be an erotic experience.

But yes, there are people with all kinds of proclivities out there -- but hopefully few who practice medicine.

bruce terry
11-03-2006, 08:20 PM
....Thus - I must declare this endeavor null and void, for we all know we cannot possibly decide what Art is..

OTOH - this subject makes me think of this site

Pastiche - A hopeless discussion I agree, but your forwarned website certainly defined what maybe emotionless Art is, depending on what your definition of Is is.