Jan 16, 2007

Art For Art's Sake

"A distinction must be made between eroticism and pornography; the media have blurred the disparity to an unforgivable degree. For those intelligent enough to recognize the difference, erotica will continue to hold a unique fascination. Social evils should not be confused with the pursuit of true beauty.”
As your average intelligent pursuer of beauty, I was intrigued to follow a link from armydreamer to a photography site. This is a photographer who became famous for his depictions of pre-pubescent naked girls. One of his books is 'The Age of Innocence', containing beautiful portraits of young girls, and here are some great-looking tulips:) He has made some films labelled as softcore.

My rant is not about child pornography as you may think;) but about the distinction between 'social evil' and 'true beauty', Hamilton's assumption being that pornography is a social evil. I have been meaning to write about the influence of pornography but I can't seem to find the time and inspiration. The depiction of a human body is beautiful, but it may be arousing too. What's wrong with arousing? Nothing, it's just not the same as beautiful. It's a different... aesthetic category. I once had this argument about an amateur video some of you probably remember, showing half-naked women on the beach, my opponent claimed the video was art, I claimed it was erotica. The film-maker kept silent:)

Anyway, my thoughts went to the self-perception of women, which is not the same as the male perception of women. As a heterosexual woman I'm not aroused by images of naked girls, so it is hard for me to judge whether Hamilton's art is porn. But then again, as a non-visual person I'm not often affected by any images, so I cannot draw the line. Do I become more beautiful when photographed by a great artist? Definitely. Do I become more beautiful when photographed naked by a great artist? Dunno. Never tried either:)

Here's the artist's profile in a different context. ^_^.twity to af true beauty.” — David Hamilton

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

"the assumption being that pornography is a social evil."

I'm sorry, this is just not true. Is that your inner christian being brainwashed by the media?

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=913013

Abstract:
The incidence of rape in the United States has declined 85% in the past 25 years while access to pornography has become freely available to teenagers and adults. The Nixon and Reagan Commissions tried to show that exposure to pornographic materials produced social violence. The reverse may be true: that pornography has reduced social violence.

------

Having a piece of art affect several aesthetic senses is a plus in my book. In that sense, even hardcore porn can be art!

The bad thing about porn (meaning not just porn as such, but all those vaguely or directly hinting at sex images and ideas we're bombarded with) is having it used as an exploit (see comments) against people. As with everything else, porn should be freely available, but only on demand. Having it on a billboard will hardly help male drivers concentrate on the road.

Although ...

M.

Hazel Baggins said...

@ M.
The assumption is Hamilton's, not mine:) I'm ranting *against* the assumption:D My view is that even though I'm rather intelligent I can't seem to grasp the distinction between art and porn. What I'm saying is that one man's art is another's porn, and Hamilton's art sells so well PRECISELY because of its subject matter:) Although the tulips are nice, too:D

So we have a consensus that pornography is not a social evil. Phew. *wipes brow* I might even write a post about what it is:)

frostie said...

I think art is social evil :P

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