Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Porn : That which Is Not Meant To Be Looked At


"On the crude side of looking at pornography, given that most people find interest in it seeing it as that which is not "meant" to be looked at, I say it is destructive....."

The above statement is a paraphrase, a strand of an ongoing forum discussion at another website.

The argument is right (to my thinking): pornographers do intend being transgressive. They're not presenting 'erotica' which in the hands of writers like The Lazy Geisha, Temptress Butterfly, and Selkie (coincidently, all women) pornographers revel in its dirtiness, its transgressing taboos.

Whether soft or hard porn, it acknowledges the zeitgeist, the general public's aversion, guilt, and anger at depictions of things that are biblically prohibited from being looked at. Sexuality as not being meant to be looked at is what goes to the heart of distinguishing it from being art and literature. They, the pornographers make the distinction as to what the public wants to buy when they are shopping. 'Pornography' and the writers, photographers, and artists in other media know the difference between 'porn' and 'erotica'.

I had once been a journeyman in the genre I called 'pornography'. In the privacy and secrecy of my Long Island studio I consciously embarked on attempting this kind of work. It happened after I'd successfully begun making drawings and comic strips that I believed were no longeer mere learning pieces.

My objective was to do this as an 'honest and authentic' pornographer. That is to make it, acknowledging this was 'for-my-eyes-only' home made pornography, meant to arouse at least my own prurience and my own penis.

This stage of my drawings as porn evolved into something more than porn, around the period when my wife was attending consciousness raising workshops, the great Women's Lib movement. This was in the 1960s, By the 70s and 80s, my porn (still acting in defiance of what I perceived to be the prevailing moralities of the day,evolved into the art of which I found my voice as a book artist and polemicist concerning porn and art as cohabiting the body of work I've produced.

As of this writing, the line being drawn between what is deemed pornographic and erotica is getting very blurry. And it just isn't all about 'intentions' (transgressive) or whether or not the artist is celebrating humans having great sex, or whatever. It is also about who is looking at or looking away, who is fearful for the sake of their souls or their children's evolving values taught in homes, schools, and religious institutions. The Yin and Yang as to this continually is being formed and reformed, changed over the course of time.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Mirjam said...

Those two boys in your top drawing are tinged in bubble gum pink!:-) Don't know if that was your intention, but it reminded me of the pink bubble gum I sometimes had as a child. I also have a memory of there being a tiny comic book story printed on the bubble gum wrappers. This drawing brings out feelings of playfulness in me. :-)

January 23, 2007 at 7:22 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

I love the first two boys-- they are adorable! Also, interesting history behind all of this. Great Job, as always.

January 25, 2007 at 1:13 AM  
Blogger Norman said...

Mirjam,

The colors work or do not. By that I mean the choosing was serendipity, pure trial and error. The model I had were indeed the pages in the Sunday Funnies I remembered, (the gum wrappers too) -and evolved over decades simply because they were available at my local art supply store. I used marker colors, not watercolors: readymades. No mixing, no warping or wetting the papers I'd used for my pen and india ink drawings.

January 25, 2007 at 4:51 AM  
Blogger Norman said...

Thank you Karen.

good to know you're there. have you visited ufemisms.com/ ?

January 25, 2007 at 6:37 AM  

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