drawing by marguerita
"This summer, while looking at ice age art in caves in France, I saw breasts and buttocks drawn by some ice age Picasso perhaps 25,000 years ago.
People have been making erotica, or pornography, or whatever you want to call it, far longer than the 2,500 years this exhibition surveys. And you have to ask: has art ever been about anything else?"
......he claimed that when he looked at male beauty it led him up into the pure spiritual realm, beyond lust."No nude, however abstract, should fail to arouse in the spectator some vestige of erotic feeling, even though only the faintest shadow - and if it does not do so it is bad art and false morals."
Walk over to the section that shows a lovely series of 18th-century Chinese scenes in which lovers embrace tenderly in a lotus garden. The mood here is infinitely more delicate and gentle - except the woman wears dainty silken bags over her bound feet.
Seventeenth-century Japan saw the rise of a new secular culture in the great cities of Edo (modern Tokyo), Osaka and Kyoto. Religious Noh theatre gave way to kabuki theatre with its everyday scenes, and the cities had pleasure districts whose community of the senses was named after the Buddhist term ukiyo, meaning "floating world"
Genitalia'svisible presence is natural and is enjoyed by the artist, who draws comparisons with red frilly garments, or in the case of an erect penis, with a bird's beak.
A man pleasures a woman after they have gorged on oysters; the artist enjoys drawing a visual analogy between oyster and vulva. I cannot think of a European equivalent, and it has to do with what art is in different cultures, as much as what sex is.