So many artists the world over use their sexual desires as inspiration for their art, and the passion really shines through with every brush stroke and flash of the camera. Notably, Made in Heaven was designed as a response to how our bodies are objectified and seem as shameful when at their most vulnerable. Each piece from the series shows explicit erotica, from oral sex to penetration, with Koons himself modeling alongside his then-wife Ilona Staller. He could have gotten separate models for the series, and he could have simply simulated their sex with manipulative camera angles; but he wanted reality, he wanted controversy, and intimacy.
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Beyond its power to titillate, good erotic art can make powerful, sex-positive social statements. Just look at how the genre has flourished on Instagram: Tons of artists with hundreds of thousands of followers have, for the last few years, been showing their huge audiences new ways to think about love, sex, and intimacy—often at the risk of getting their accounts deleted for being in violation of Instagram's anti-nipple community guidelines. Erotic art has been around forever, which may feel like an exaggeration but isn't too far off. For many ancient civilizations, erotica was showcased freely, adorning ancient Greek homeware and showing up in the Moche sex pots which depicted various acts including anal sex. So why has erotic art been censored if not outright banned and stigmatized by a society it predates?
Art is having a strange moment right now. But what makes artists so seductive, despite their tendency to be, ya know, selfish egomaniacs who suffer from mental illness and addiction? And often, to be quite honest, not terribly good looking?
It has included works in almost any visual medium, including drawings, engravings, films, paintings, photographs, and sculptures. Some of the earliest known works of art include erotic themes, which have recurred with varying prominence in different societies throughout history. However it has also been widely considered taboo, with either social norms or laws restricting its creation, distribution, and possession, particularly when it is deemed to be " pornographic ", " immoral ", or " obscene ". The definition of erotic art is somewhat subjective, and dependent on context, since perceptions of both what is erotic and what is art vary. For example, a sculpture of a phallus in some cultures may be considered a traditional symbol of potency rather than overtly erotic.