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For the Love of Nude! Our Most Popular Provoke! (NSFW) Articles of 2018

  • Sonia Szóstak - Laguna Colorada
December 29, 2018
A philosophy graduate interested in theory, politics and art. Alias of Jelena Martinović.

Eroticism and sexuality have been inspiring artists for centuries, and nude male and female figures, ecstasy, even sexual intercourse could be regularly found in paintings, images and prints as part of museum collections. As erotic art has been captivating the audience ever since, our Provoke (NSFW) section, featuring amazing erotic art which breaks taboos, has always been among our readers’ favorites.

As we approach the end of the year, we have brought together the most popular Provoke (NSFW) articles in 2018!

Featured image: Sonia Szóstak – Laguna Colorada, 2017. Copyright Sonia Szóstak

  • Pierre et Gilles Pierre Commoy (b. 1950), Gilles Blanchard (b. 1953), Oreste (Staiv Gentis), 2013

Phaidon Book on Erotic Art

Human sexuality and art have always gone hand in hand with each other. Exploring the phenomenon of erotic art through a timeless prism, Phaidon’s The Art of the Erotic offers poignant insights into human sexuality throughout the ages. Covering more than 2500 years of human history, it features 170 works from the world’s most important artists, including the likes of Titian, Botticelli, Joan Miró, Georgia O’Keeffe, Man Ray, Jackson Pollock, Max Ernst, Francis Picabia, Henri Toulouse Lautrec, Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud. Carefully curated and beautifully packaged, it captures eroticism in its most glorious form.

Read the full feature here.

Featured image: Pierre et Gilles Pierre Commoy (b. 1950), Gilles Blanchard (b. 1953), Oreste (Staiv Gentis), 2013. Courtesy Phaidon.

  • Ivan Alifan - Hands study, installation view

Ivan Alifan's Hands Study

A young Russian painter, Ivan Alifan explores the human body and intimacy. Taking a new perspective, the artist examines the very notion of what desire is by rethinking and reshaping primarily the traditional genre of classical portrayal. His series Hand Study articulates an interest in the representation of corporeality, but it also explores the wide array of meanings of consumption in relation to sexuality. Portraying (male and female) heads, busts or bodies are all covered with dripping white liquid, Hands Study is perhaps the most delicate and strangely the most realistic series within his oeuvre.

Read the full feature here.

Featured image: Ivan Alifan – Hands study, installation view.

  • Terry Rodgers - Threshold of Influence, 2013

Terry Rodgers' Paintings of Desire

For the past thirty years, the artist Terry Rodgers has been creating lushly painted scenes of lavish parties populated by privileged youth. Executed in his distinct hyper-realist style with vividly baroque use of color, these canvases provide an insight into his own vision of our times. This imaginary world of sex, beauty and wealth seems empty, as his subjects lack the ability to truly connect with one another. In these confections of the media, our social and physical desires, our bodies and our sense of vulnerability, the artist plays with our super-mediated experience and our ever-present fantasies.

Read the full feature here.

Featured image: Terry Rodgers – Threshold of Influence, 2013.

  • Andy Warhol - Torsos and Sex Parts, 1977 (detail)

Andy Warhol's Polaroids of Sex Parts and Torsos

Hedges Projects presented a collection of Andy Warhol‘s provocative Polaroids which blur the line between art and pornography. Belonging to the darker and more profound aspects of his output, 1977 bodies of work titled Torsos and Sex Parts are regarded as the artist’s most personal ones. The series Sex Parts features Polaroids created during several photo shoots with models procured from gay bathhouses and clubs by Warhol’s assistant, Victor Hugo, while Torsos features screenprints of bodies posed and presented in ways that more easily evoke the traditional classical nude.

Read more about it here.

Featured image: Andy Warhol – Torsos and Sex Parts, 1977 (detail)

Erotic Watercolors of Fahren Feingold

With her works, Fahren Feingold introduces a critical overview of both historical and contemporary representations of the female nudes, offering a subversive take on the depiction of the female body. Her influences range from the Expressionists nudes, vintage French erotica, Russ Mayer’s femdoms from the 50s, fashion magazines and music album covers (Duran Duran) to present day Internet girls. At once sensual and bold, these watercolors feature women in various positions and states of mind. Placing the figures in an undetermined space and time, the artist seeks to achieve timeliness.

Read more about it here.

Featured image: Fahren Feingold – You or someone like you, 2017. Courtesy Untitled Space.

  • Pin Up Art, Alberto Vargas, 1920

Masters of Vintage Pin Up Art

Developing fully during the 20th-century modernism, pin-up art grew simultaneously with the changing social circumstances and a general need for more freedom regardless of the prescribed canons of morality. Produced for the male gaze, these images featured women in sensual or erotic poses. They were massively produced for magazines, as well as postcards and chromo-lithographs. It has heavily affected the medium of illustration and reflected on a later development of Pop Art.

See 9 masters of vintage pin-up art here.

Featured image: Alberto Vargas, 1920.

  • Marquis De Sade Illustration (detail)

100 Erotic Illustrations of Marquis de Sade's Writings

A work that has been shocking for generations, the writings of Marquis de Sade became the symbol of the world forbidden, and he himself became a personified perversion. A unique, text-free collection of all erotic illustrations from Marquis De Sade’s books has recently been published by Goliath. Titled Marquis de Sade – 100 Erotic Illustrations, this impressive book brings together the collected graphics from 4000 book pages, offering a breadth of visual representation of de Sade’s provocative narratives.

Read more about it here.

Featured image: Marquis De Sade Illustration (detail).

  • Sonia Szóstak - Laguna Colorada

Contemporary Views on Nude Photography

This fall, The Ballery Gallery from Berlin hosted a group show exploring the contemporary depiction of the nude. Titled  CORPUS DELICTI – 3 contemporary views on nude photography and staging the body, the exhibition brought together new photographic works by established and rising photographers Sonia Szóstak, Steven Kohlstock, and Simon Lohmeyer. The exhibition sought to reveal an array of meanings behind the nude images in contemporary culture, showcasing works which address issues such as intimacy, gender, and sexuality.

Read the whole feature here.

Featured image: Sonia Szóstak – Laguna Colorada, 2017. Copyright Sonia Szóstak, courtesy Ballery.

  • Natalia Ll - Consumer Art, 1974

Erotic Photography at Paris Photo 2018

For their 2018 edition, the Paris Photo fair debuted the Curiosa sector, dedicated to photographs of grandmasters such as Daido Moriyama, Nobuyoshi Araki and Robert Mapplethorpe, among others – whose common topic was eroticism. Devoted to the body, gender and eroticism, the sector brought together images which challenge our gaze and pull away from our usual perception of it. To find out more about the curatorial concept of this section, Widewalls had a chat with writer and curator Marta Kirszenbaum.

Read the whole interview here.

Featured image: Natalia Ll – Consumer Art, 1974, detail. Courtesy Natalia LL and lokal_30 gallery Warsaw.

  • Helmut Newton - Bergstrom over Paris, Paris, 1976

The Nudes of Saul Leiter, David Lynch and Helmut Newton

The work of three photography legends known for their nudes, Saul LeiterDavid Lynch and Helmut Newton, was brought together under one roof at The Helmut Newton Foundation. Although the nude body has appeared in front of the lens of thousands of photographers, Leiter, Lynch and Newton are certainly among the most influential 20th-century photographers in the field. Leiter’s work is characterized by a unique intimate atmosphere, Lynch’s work appears almost abstract, with body details often filling the frame, while Newton successfully incorporated nudes into his fashion photography.

Read more about it here.

Featured image: Helmut Newton – Bergstrom over Paris, Paris, 1976. Copyright Helmut Newton Estate.