This week, Widewalls is celebrating the 6 months mark of the beginning of our Provoke! section. During this time, as well as the period of preparing for the project, the editorial team has been focused on presenting two key aspects of art to its community. On the one hand, we have strived to take part in the public discourse of differentiating the notions of erotica and sexuality within Contemporary and Urban Art expressions, trying to instigate the imagination of our readers towards the potential of the reality governed by Eros. On the other hand, we were devoted to the mapping of key aspects of social and cultural reality for which we feel that are significant for understanding and defining such concepts as body, beauty, fetishism, possession, belonging, love and eroticism… Through this selection of 10 most inspiring and sexually intriguing moments of Provoke!’s history, we promise to continue our commitment to erotic art and our quest for provoking the imagination driven side of your mind…
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Even though his work was often disputed and even prosecuted as obscenity, Robert Mapplethore seems to be more respected and adored than ever, and we could not be more happier. His groundbreaking photography was the hottest thing from the very beginning of his career, and it hadn't lost a thing in its beauty and controversy potential over the last 25 years since his premature death. Thankfully, every now and then, there is another show that reminds us of Mapplethorpe's extraordinary talents, as it was the case with the critically acclaimed 2014 show at the renowned OHWOW Gallery. There we had once again witnessed how immense it was and how hot his masterpieces still are, as the gallery showcased over fifty of his iconic images, many of which have rarely been shown to general public. Mapplethorpe is always on the top of our list of hotness. Even his photographs of tulips and lilies are so sexy and mesmerizing, and can be enjoyed for hours without blinking.
Last year Jonathan Leder, renowned American fashion and art photographer and director team up once again with his regular collaborator, model and actress Amy Hood, and together they delivered one of the hottest moments of 2014. Promiscuities is Leder's debut feature length independent film, a sexy psychological thriller extraordinaire that offers everything we would expect from him. It tells the original story written by Leder and Hood, centered around Diane, troubled young woman suffering from addiction and sexual psychosis, who turns to a twisted psychotherapist seeking for help. The sadistic doctor slowly seduces Diane into curing her personal issues through various sexual relationships, and what follows is their journey into chaos as they they unlock their madness and explore deeply hidden aspects of human nature. Situated on border lines separating art from and pornography, Promiscuities is a seductive and highly provocative piece of moving pictures, which took erotic filmmaking to a new and daring level.
One of the most famous contemporary fashion and portrait photographers, Terry Richardson has shot the campaigns of the greatest fashion designers such as Aldo, Tom Ford and Yves Saint Laurent, and has worked for magazines such as Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone and Vogue. Best known for his fashion and celebrity work, much of it with an strong erotic bent, today he regularly shoots covers for Harper’s Bazaar and GQ and has photographed virtually every major contemporary figure in film and music, from Marilyn Manson to Lady Gaga, not to mention the president of the US. Over the years Richardson has cultivated a reputation of being a professional substance (ab)user, a twisted artist who has produced a series of extremely hot images, that many find pornographic and misogynistic. And we could not disagree more.
Victoria Selbach is a widely respected American realist painter from New York City, best known for her extraordinary paintings that portray women as beautiful as they are. Working in acrylic layers of paint, Victoria uses light and shadow to only partially reveal what is present, a beautiful naked woman submerged in shadow or obscured by glossy hair falling over the face. Majority of Selbach's work involves paintings of women that appear in everyday, domestic settings, often in dark interior spaces, sitting by the window or glancing in the mirror, patchily lit by bright sunlight. This combination of clarity and mystery is what makes Victoria Selbachs captivating images unique and exciting. They seductively draw their viewers into an intimate moment created by the play of light and shadow, where the human presence is simply alive and stripped bare of pretense and accouterments.
For those who already don't know, Double Vagina, Double Anal, Sensitive Artist, or DVDASA in short, is a podcast co-hosted by David Choe and adult movies star Asa Akira, that has been broadcast on the internet every week for the past two years. Choe, enfant terrible of the contemporary urban and street art world, had previously co-hosted a web series called Thumbs Up! which followed his extraordinary adventures hitchhiking across the country, but with DVDASA Choe went several steps further. It is the hottest lifestyle, relationship and entertainment podcast since the dawn of the internet, a mind-bending and often shocking place where its hosts and guests talk relentlessly and openly about gender, racial, and health issues. Last September it appeared that this exciting and extremely interesting podcast was coming to an end, especially after Choe released his passionate press release, but it seems that DVDASA will be continued indefinitely, in one form or another.
The Fellini of photography as someone called him, infamous David LaChapelle is a visionary American photographer, filmmaker, and one of the most acclaimed fashion photographers of all times. He is best known for his seductive photography which often references classic art and urban culture, while conveying meaningful social messages. LaChapelle's work is impeccably styled and always with a strong dose of kitsch. It is mindbogglingly hot and while it often implies pornography, it never crosses the line and reveals too much, but rather relies on the atmosphere of the photograph. Deeply influenced by Surrealism, LaChapelle’s has been bravely walking the line between fashion and fine art photography, ever since Andy Warhol discovered him when he was 17, and after dizzying success in commercial photography, he has successfully, and thankfully, returned to the gallery setting, only to create some of the hottest contemporary artworks around.
Gun for hire, legendary fashion and art photographer Helmut Newton shaped the modern day fashion photography with his provocative images, so iconic of his times. His exceptional work is best known for the dramatic lighting and intriguing poses of his models. It often featured themes of sex, violence and sadomasochism, and was characterized as obsessive and extremely subversive. Since last December more than 200 Newton's classic photographs are on display in Berlin, and among them are, of course, photographs from the famous Big Nudes series Newton shot during the 1980s. The show is a comprehensive retrospective of Newton's astonishing work, and it presents some of the most iconographic and hottest images he ever created. There is still a chance to see the show at Berlin’s Museum of Photography, as it will be running until May.
Renowned Japanese photographer and filmmaker Nobuyoshi Araki is one of the world's most prolific contemporary artists and also one of its greatest diarist, who takes mesmerizing photos of the mundane, everyday life. Such are his photographs of breathtaking cityscapes, karaoke bars, mesmerizing flowers in bloom and colourful toys, but what is Araki most (in)famous for are his astonishing nude photos of women that regularly spark controversies and dismissals as being nothing more than pornographic. His extraordinary and extremely hot series of Kinbaku (or tight binding) photographs which depict naked women, tightly bound with ropes in the Japanese bondage style, follows the tradition of shunga, Japanese woodblock prints which were widely distributed since the 17th century. These highly intriguing works have led Araki to photograph some of the world's most famous artists such as Bjork and Lady Gaga, and became important parts of numerous renowned art collections, including the Tate Modern in London and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Ryan McGinley is a highly prolific American photographer, who grew up surrounded by different subcultures, most importantly skateboard and street art scene, which had a decisive influence on his art. Over the years McGinley developed his distinctive style and practice, and moved away from documenting events toward constructing that perfect moment he would then capture with his camera. Last September the renowned New York based Team Gallery hosted a show titled Yearbook. The exhibition showcased a single McGinley's artwork, an overwhelming collage of over five hundred hedonistic portraits of almost two hundred nude models, which were created in the coziness of his Chinatown studio over the last five years. It was one of the hottest moments of 2014, and it was proven on the show opening night when the crowd shut down an entire block in downtown Manhattan, as they stormed the gallery in order to see this impressive and extremely fun installation.
Pokras Lampas is a self-taught calligraffiti and street artist from Saint Petersburg. Only 23 years old, and with seven years long experience in graffiti, Lampas has been steadily moving up on a ladder of success, and has already worked for some of the most popular global brands, such as Nike, Mercedes-Benz and Skoda. But what caught the attention of the worldwide audience is Calligraphy on Girls, an exciting multimedia project in which typography and graffiti meet erotica and photography to produce one of the hottest artistic explorations of the female body we have seen. The project, which moved Lampas away from canvas and walls toward drawing his captivating calligraphy work on bare skins of his living models, is organized in sessions of body painting and photography that last for several hours. Up until now Lampas executed total of eleven Calligraphy on Girls sessions, with promises of more to come in the year ahead of us, so...
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