Why you should embrace erotic art

The distinction between the high art nude and the dark alley pornographer has been replaced by an appreciation of multicultural erotic art and porn as therapy.
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Unknown photographer, French, active 1840s-1850s. No title (Nude Woman with Long Hair) c.1852 daguerreotype, 9.4 x 14.8 cm. National Gallery of Victoria

Woody Allen famously defined the difference between erotica and pornography:  ‘With erotica you use a feather and with pornography, the whole chicken.’ But fowl play notwithstanding, deciding what denotes pornographic material is ultimately subjective. While erotica can certainly swing over to the explicit, it also celebrates the less fetishised aspects of the body – the hinge of a waist, the curve of a wrist, a loaded glance.

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Emma Clark Gratton
About the Author
Emma Clark Gratton is an ArtsHub staff writer.