See this to the left? That's 8 of the 10 ART PORN paintings that need final touch-ups and final varnish, probably another month or two of work with my current schedule but the end is near... which brings me to a lot of questions about what to do next.
This 2nd collection is much more bold than the last but it still holds that sensual and erotic appeal I wanted to convey. We'll see what happens. While the first collection of ART PORN was just fine for premiering in Savannah, I'm confident looking at the 8 of these together in my den that their showing does in fact need to be in Las Vegas. Good thing that's where they'll be in August and September. (more details on that coming, promise)
One of the interesting things I've discovered painting these now for over 2 years is that I can only paint 10 or less per year - not so much because of production challenges, but because I can only look at so much porn per day. And while I try to make pornography beautiful - and really, it's just our sexuality but we face it through its witnessed expressions which we then title 'pornography - even the manifested and conveyed eroticism of the piece is striking only so long before I've had enough of its visual when painted one after another.
Looking at it in a room as you pass by is sexy and sometimes even stimulating but when it's literally in your face for hours a day - um, a girl needs a moment to step back and breathe... It's when I need that break, when I just can't look at another penis or sexual position, I paint other imagery such as my Nudes and Portraits. They kind of cleanse the human body for me visually while emerging as their own story in front of my eyes: I'm merely a medium for the message and the goal is to get the translation of the message right. Not easy.
The basic nude contains no sexuality. It is merely our societal perspective that sexuality emerges from nudity since nudity exposes the genitals and our so called "sins". The stories of sexual shame seem to sit at the dawn of Christianity and not too much before. Maybe religion was a way to keep the heat under control but at the cost of shaming that which creates life is a sad tale to tell. Sexuality emerges from pheromones you don't even control and then it hijacks not only your biology but your mind and boom, you make choices under intoxication. It happens, friends. You know it.
I've backed up from the face portraits; I became intrigued by the body in a way I hadn't before and the life drawing classes I've taken weekly since September have made a big impact on the way I look at the figure and draw it and with that I've been slowly nudged away from the face and slammed into the nude figure in new ways. I love the challenge.
I've finally come to peaceful terms about that fact that my art will always be either an expression of the beauty of the human figure or the beauty of human sexuality. I've struggled with that for a while now, merging them but they truly are two separate expressions of humanity, the sexual self and the human self. I'm not sure I've mentioned it before, this odd struggle, but all good now as a lot has fallen into place on its own timing.
Thing is, nudity and sexuality don't always mix as one despite how society manipulates it and that my work isn't only one or the other is exactly what I like: it's authentic to the eroticism's expression within the human being and this is multifaceted. Mainstream produces what sells, not what is authentic; that's for us to figure out and follow.
I feel very confident right now in my art and myself as an artist, where this is all going and how it led here, especially after visiting Art Palm Beach 2017 last week. I felt humbled to be in a room full of amazing international artist talent that transcended what I typically experience locally or regionally. It may have been the sheer size of the event all in one place, an overload of creativity. I walked the place four times in heels. I only noticed the blisters once I got to the car. The experience of meeting others (including an inspirational woman, glass artist Marlene Rose) and talking about the art there left me feeling good and looking at all the ART PORN pieces together and seeing their coherency and how well they translate makes me want to do one of those car commercial jumps, I swear.
... and how I frigging got brave and tackled painting hands as central to the painting rather than hiding them and they turned out good (for my skill level, don't judge me) - these are stepping stone accomplishments that no one can truly understand the value of but me. That's okay. I'll manage.
I needed to get comfortable with painting the pornographic imagery and I did. I love to paint it and now I can't imagine not adding to the collection over my lifetime - so long as it's at a good pace, which I have to find and 7 lucky paintings a year seems a good number maybe... As for my other artwork, the nudes, I'm super excited about how my art will grow its presentation of femininity and the stories of our biological and sexual ties. Those are my current directions.