Provocative art arouses strong feelings, whether because of its subject matter of technique. Continuously challenging artistic traditions, artists have confronted issues of sexuality, race, politics, and religion, often creating controversies and facing a backlash of rejection and fierce criticism from the public. Intended to evoke erotic arousal or depict sexually explicit scenes in order to comment on larger social issues, erotic and sexually-charged art is often labeled as highly provocative. Our Provoke! section is a true celebration of erotic art. Including erotic paintings, engravings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, music, and writing, these are indeed some of the most popular articles on our website.
Since the end of the year is just around the corner, it is time to take a look back at our Provoke! section and all the remarkable erotic art created by a variety of amazing artists. Thus, we present you the steamiest posts of the year. Scroll down for the ten most liked articles on erotic art in 2016, because this list is your choice.
Featured images: Tinto Brass - Salon Kitty, 1976, via cashiersdecinema. com; Youth, via pinterest com; Spencer Tunick Public Art, via illusion.com; Soraya Doolbaz DicPics, via dicture.com; Kohei Yoshiyuki - The Park, 1971-73, via presentationhousegallery.org; Caligula, 1979, via youtube.com
During the 1950s, 60s and 70s, the porn industry and posters that advertised adult movies were radically different from everything we can encounter today. Portraying barely covered girls inspired by the pin-up culture, they seem rather innocent compared to the explicit images that exist today. Yet, these images were highly controversial at the time, and often banned, which makes us think about the state of the straight-up hardcore porn industry in the 21st century. Thus, vintage adult movie posters take us back to the time when suggestive seduction and saucy imagery were the very core of erotica and sex appeal, with all their metaphors, wordplay, and clever humor.
Featured image: Hot Lunch Cover
Feminism isn’t a uniform ideology, nor a uniform set of ideas. There are many movements and sets of ideas within feminism that influenced modern political and social thought, as well as art. Feminist artists have been deconstructing patriarchal structures of power and oppression through their brave and unique artistic practices for decades. Influenced by radical sexual feminism whose approach towards sexuality or pornography is completely different from the one coming from liberal feminists, artists like Joan Semmel, Anita Steckel, Betty Tompkins and Cosey Fanni Tutti fearlessly confronted sexual ethics, gender norms, and the tyranny of political correctness, often facing censorship for the explicit sexual content of their work.
Featured image: Lea Shrager, via bustle.com
One of the many interesting aspects of the history of the Roman Empire is the sexual perversity of its rulers. Perhaps the craziest of them all was Caligula, who ruled between AD 37 and 41 and whose debauchery inspired the creation of two distinct artistic video projects. In 1979, Tinto Brass directed Caligula in order to make it a satire on power. But, the producer Bob Guccione changed and re-edited the film entirely without his consent, making it an erotic film full of hardcore sex and violence, featuring scenes of full-frontal nudity, masturbation, orgy and various sex games. Another Italian contemporary art star, Francesco Vezzoli was profoundly inspired by this film, having made an artistic video with a more up-to-date cast.
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Featured image: Caligula, 1979
In 1973, Salvador Dali collaborated with Playboy magazine for a very interesting editorial. The models listened to all the directions and allowed for the Master Surrealists painter to place them in his illusionistic and sexually charged world. The editorial was shot in the Spanish town Cadaqués, attracting all the villagers who gathered on the surrounding hilltops to feast their eyes upon the naked flesh of the most beautiful symbols for most men’s secret desires. With bizarre meeting the erotic, it ended up being one of the major events for the town, the Playboy magazine, and for the famous painter himself.
Featured image: Salvador Dali Collaboration with Playboy, via art-sheep.com
As the erotic photographer Megan Eagles explains it, there is nothing wrong with being a sexual woman and being a feminist at the same time. Her photography is erotic and it depicts women who have an obvious confidence in their sexuality. For many, being an attractive, sexually aware woman is often assimilated with being superficial and being objectified by men. In reality, both the erotic and the feminist components are intangible. Women are beautiful, and that should have nothing to do with their right to vote, or with their intelligence and any other quality, for that matter. Nature just made it that way.
Featured image: Megan Eagles Photography
There is a secret pleasure hidden in nude movie scenes. Like Peeping Toms, we witness the worlds of imagination and guilty pleasures of the characters in films whose lives we seem to possess. We have made a list of scenes that we found most beautiful, surreal, and the most iconic. All of these are charged with sexual energy and humanity as well. In order to differentiate the erotic from explicit sex, we have also included the scenes that only hint to the naked flesh. From nudity that emphasizes the vulnerability of the character and one that stands for youth and the universal female beauty to the one that exposes hidden anxieties, we have compiled the most memorable scenes.
Featured image: Youth, via dailymotion.com
The photographer Soraya Doolbaz was getting quite a lot of nude pics during online chats with people she met on dating apps. And not just any nude pics – dick pics. Impressed with the aesthetic variety of these images, as well as the creativity of the men who took them, she decided to make a similar project. She created Dicture Gallery, a gallery of dicks wearing outfits. The art of this photographer is not just about the pics, it is also about their titles. With titles like “Napoleon Boner Parte”, “Dicky Minaj” or “Adolf Clit Tickler”, names of the pics are just as funny as images themselves.
Featured image: Soraya Doolbaz DicPics, via dicture.com
The Japanese photography was always characterized by the unique aesthetics that could be described as provocative, raw and grim. Years after the Second World War were seminal and transformative, as Japanese photographers developed a unique visual language that reoriented modern culture of the nation. As the country was undergoing radical changes during the 1960s, many Japanese photographers started exploring different ways to reflect the significant cultural revolution that was on the way. Founded by influential photographers Daidō Moriyama, Yutaka Takanashi, Shōmei Tōmatsu, and Nobuyoshi Araki, critic Koji Taki and writer Takahiko Okada, the radical magazine Provoke became a place where all these issues were articulated.
Featured image: Nobuyoshi Araki - Marvellous Tales Of Black Ink No. 4-1994 (detail), via blindspotgallery.com
The photographer Spencer Tunick persistently endeavors to create impossible worlds where humans carelessly run around with no clothes on, blind and deaf to social obligations and all the regulations determined by the artificial, preposterous moral code. He tackles both social and legal issues, those that seem to define our modern way of life and constrain our human behavior within accepted boundaries. The controversial essence of his work has gotten him in trouble more than once, since the photographer has been arrested five times. Nevertheless, Tunick continues to make public installations all over the world that sometimes consist of tens of thousands naked bodies.
Featured image: Spencer Tunick Public Art
The sexual liberation culminated in the 1960s and 1970s, unleashing all the confinement previously placed on the women’s sexual pleasure. This has brought a significant shift in the way sex and nudity were portrayed on the big screen. Within this context, Tinto Brass movies of the time have made him the cultured representative of 1970s Italian erotic cinema. Even though his early work includes many critically acclaimed avant-garde films of various genres, he is today mainly known for his later work in the realm of erotica, wrapping his fetishization of the female body in a candy-colored cloak of pure fabulousness. We have compiled a list of the most memorable Tinto Brass scenes.
Featured image: Tinto Brass - Monella, 1998, via tumbnation.com