, Stanhope Street
28th January - 11th February 2011
(For 18's and over!)
Featuring some eye-popping watercolours, kinky sculptures, arty photography-cum-pornography
and more willies than your average secondary school textbook, the Erotic
Art Exhibition on Stanhope Street is sure to arouse interest, and offers
this reviewer plenty of sexual innuendo to work with.
We find ourselves in an age where sex is used mercilessly to promote
products. The advertising industry hoped that by associating their products
with sex, we might confuse our desires for the opposite sex with everyday
inanimate objects. Stranger still - despite all that gyrating, lewd posturing
and page three smut - nakedness and sex remain relatively taboo in public
The airbrushed perfection that is pursued in the advertising industry
appears to be intrinsic within the exhibition itself. This is most apparent
within the photography, where the lines between the pornographic and the
photographic are blurred. Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder
and as a photographer, the tension between the objective and subjective
perception of imagery frames the question - would the photo be so alluring
if the model wasn't?
Definition of what separates erotic art from top shelf porno change from
time to time, and from place to place. Yet more discussion on the concepts
of eroticism and taboo would have offered this exhibit a greater depth.
As a result, if you're interested in the highly controversial, I feel
you might be somewhat disappointed. The exhibition is limited and unconcerned
with engaging the boundaries of taboo, or offering discourse on what sexuality
is to different people.
Despite these constraints, the variety of the exhibition is nevertheless
thought-provoking and certainly excites the senses. Robert Babylon's fetish
photography, for example, employs the use of ultra-violet light and fluorescent
lingerie to exaggerate the pleasing curves of the female body - imagine
something between Tron and Playboy.
Whereas Babylon's work embraces stylistic beauty, Brigit Jones disregards
it, offering an abstract portrayal of the human body - contorted, twisted
and suspended in darkness. This is a depiction of the human body as repulsive
and alien - a marked contrast to John Stoddart's work, which affords the
viewer a voyeuristic peepshow into lives of neatly shaven strippers and
call girls garbed in bondage gear.
The rest of the exhibition ranges from the bizarre to the mundane, from
the marginal to the busty and from the artistic to the outright sleazy.
If you ever fancied a telephone that has a penis for a receiver and is
sculptured from wood, you might be pleased to know that one could be yours
for only six hundred quid.
In summery then, whether fine art or filthy art, the exhibition is both
contemporary and commendable - well worth the stroll from Liverpool One.