Art Erotica

Martin_Tanya_The best seat in the house_217-101440

Words: Nicci Talbot

Art Erotica is 10-day exhibition featuring a selection of 100+ erotic works of art plus live performances, talks and discussions on the erotic theme. Works include paintings, photography, digital art, and sculpture, drawings, mixed media and original prints.

Here’s the blurb:

‘Erotic art has a long and distinguished, if controversial, tradition in the history of modern art. Arguably, eroticism in art brings us closer to our humanity, yet there are few genres in the arts that have been as under-represented and unjustly maligned as expressions of what we, in all our rich diversity, find erotic.’

I’m going to the Private View on Wednesday 18th January. The art writer and critic Edward Lucie-Smith is opening the exhibition and giving a talk on eroticism in Western art. Lucie-Smith is the author of over 100 books including Sexuality in Western Art, The Arse in Art, and Ars Erotica – An Arousing History of Erotic Art. The Private View is an opportunity to see the works before the exhibition opens to the public. Tickets cost £25 per person or £40 per couple and include free entry and a cocktail afterwards at China White. Monies raised go to this year’s chosen sexual health charity the FPA.

In addition to the gorgeous artwork there are talks and discussions over the 10 days. Highlights include:

  1. Thursday 19th January @ 9.30 – 11.00am – Art Breakfast – Behind the Scenes. Organiser Kathryn Roberts explains how the exhibition preparation and judging process works.
  2. Friday 20th January @ 7.30-9.00pm – An Evening of Erotic Poetry with Richard Clifford and Frances Barber.
  3. Saturday 21st January @ 1.30-2.30pm – Art or Porn? Clear division or false dilemma? Dr Hans Maes, lecturer in history and philosophy of art at the University of Kent will talk about the relationship between art and pornography.
  4. Saturday 21st January @ 3.30 – 4.30pm – Daryl Champion, editor of Something Dark web magazine will talk about art, censorship and moral hysteria.

About Cork Street Open Exhibition

Proprietor Kathryn Roberts launched the exhibition in 2008 after being inspired by The Big Issue’s tributes to Anita Roddick. The open exhibition now attracts thousands of entries each year by new and established international artists and fills two large galleries in London. She decided to launch a second, themed competition – Art Erotica – in aid of charity. She says: ‘We invite you to join us in January to explore and discover what, in all its rich diversity, today’s artists and art lovers find erotic’.

Here’s a link to the 2012 shortlisted works. Some I recognise from The Guild of Erotic Artists, others I’m looking forward to discovering. Judges will select the final pieces for the exhibition. Highlights include photography by American photographer James Armstrong and unseen works by Jamil Nasqh.

Free tickets!

We have a pair tickets to give away for the erotic poetry Friday reading. Answers on an email please to:

Q: What do Art Erotica and My Week With Marilyn have in common?

Art Erotica runs from 19th – 27th January in the Gallery at Cork Street, 28 Cork Street, London W1S 3NG.

Want to make a dirty weekend of it? The Hilton London Green Park is a sponsor and is offering double rooms at a special rate, which includes 20% off tickets for the talks. Email for info.

Image by Tanya Martin: The Best Seat in the House. It is indeed!






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