Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Great Porn Debate Part 2: It's not porn if it is in black and white, but is it still art?


Leila Swan and Hana - 013113 - SB

My wife once looked at some of the nude digital images I was uploading to my computer that were still in color.  She said, "It feels more porny in color."  Does black and white, and even better yet, a nice bokeh (not a sexual term) stop it from being porn or even help it to become art?  What about adding grain?  What if I shot it on film and made prints in my own darkroom?  I could also put a vignette, and sepia tone to it, or even make it a cyanotype.  Is it art yet?  What do you think?

Leila Swan and Hana - 013113 - SB


 

7 comments:

  1. Your wife is right! lol "The difference between pornography and erotica is lighting." ~Gloria Leonard

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  2. It's virtually the difference between oil painting vs. Crayons. Add a little "sophistication" to sex, violence or blasphemy and you've got Art. Strange how every sex scene you see Sasha Grey in is porn, but watch Halle Berry getting ramrodded by Billy Bob Thornton is worth of an Oscar.

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  3. I believe it has been said that color is a bit more distracting because it registers more reality. So if you go with the wife's thinking I would print them both as a diptych. With the color on top like you have it here and then spin the black and white 180 degrees so the heads are together. Kinda like a mirror image. That way you would have the meeting of the minds covered with porn and art together.

    I don't feel that the process has much to do with a determination of art or porn. But if it did lets take the black and white; they say size matters so lets make it a really large print, wall size, oh and it must be a palladium print. One that was processed by two nude dwarfs that were wearing white sunglasses and neon yellow flip flops while listening to Led Zeppelin 1 in a continuous loop. One last caveat; an outrages price tag. Wait...you were wearing a white 2-Ply cotton basketweave windsor collar french cuff custom made dress shirt and black leather pants while shooting weren't you...whew. Yes now it's art.

    Or you could use one of my thoughts - It's art - why - because her foot is flat. If her foot was arched and her toes were curled it would be porn, definitely porn.

    D.L. Wood

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  4. "Art is whatever you can get away with!" - Andy Warhol
    Lol - love the visual D.L. ... I think you hit on something with the price tag though ... especially in America, smut is for the masses and art is for the elite - even when they are the exact same thing! ~Miz B

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    1. Kinda like those shows in Vegas like Goddess or Zumanity. As Glenn Plummer said to Elizabeth Berkley on "Showgirls", "At least what you're doing (stripping) is honest. They ask for tits and ass? You give them tits and ass. Here (at the Stardust hotel) they act like they want something different, and you're STILL giving them TITS and ASS.". Guess the only thing separating the porn from art in that situation is getting a pay check rather than collecting tips from your garter strap.

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  5. Well,
    recording it in B/W means "interpreting" it, not simply "recording", so yes, B/W adds an artistic "touch" to the image. B/W in photography has always been a booster for one's attention on "actions" rather than "contexts". Think of a colorful african market where women with strange and showy dresses go and mix with fruits, vegetables, a clear blue sky and old yellow cabs or blue Toyota vans. You're talking about a CONTEXT there. NOTHING is really the subject because EVERYTHING is the subject. Now turn everything into b/w, that is "mute" the color channel, and now you'll be able to see what people are really doing. What are they really into. Some things look even sharper in b/w than in color, have you ever noticed it ? Maybe it's because even if smooth, a b/w contrast is much stronger than the one you see among the many colors you have on a palette. Everything is reduced to its essential. So yes, b/w is art, color might be not.

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  6. Well..
    of course one may achieve a porn image with b/w but usually it's not worth it. Why bother to transpose something that on its principle don't want to be interpreted?

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