It’s In The Eye of the Beholder
We live in a highly sexualized society, at least in the developed western countries. Sadly though, sex has become so commoditized that little shocks us any more. Cable TV is essentially uncensored, while hard core porn is just a mouse click away on the Internet.
But there’s a difference between commercial / advertising driven sexual come-ons, such as the Sports Illustrated’s issue currently on newsstands across the U.S. and Canada, (see below), and outright pornography. Most adults would agree that much of the time hard-core porn is pretty lame.
Antarctica Erotica #1. February, 2015
Sony A7r with 70-200mm f/4G
1/1000 sec @ f/11 @ ISO 320
But there is a third area where human sexuality and art converge, and that’s with erotica. I realize that one man’s erotica can be another’s pornography, but most adults find erotica relatively inoffensive and even pleasantly titillating.
“Erotica (from the Greek ἔρως, eros “desire”) is any artistic work that deals substantively with erotically stimulating or sexually arousing subject matter. All forms of art may depict erotic content, including painting, sculpture, photography, drama, film, music or literature. Erotica has high-art aspirations, differentiating it from commercial pornography.”
The work of American painter Georgia O’Keefe
certainly comes to mind – at least to mine.
Annual Swimsuit Issue of Sports Illustrated
Currently on magazine racks across North America, March, 2015
Antarctica Erotica #2. February, 2015
Sony A7r with 70-200mm f/4G
1/1000 sec @ f/7.1 @ ISO 100
Which brings us to the two large images on this page, both taken by me during an Antarctica photo expedition in February of 2015. They were shot just a couple of hours apart, on a zodiac ride through a field of icebergs.
Maybe the last place on earth that one would expect to find erotica is Antarctica. Indeed. But what I found were two beautiful iceberg formations, both of which struck me as erotic in their symbolism. I certainly did not head out that morning looking for erotica, but these two definitely caught my eye when I saw them. When I found both almost simultaneously I knew immediately that they would be grist for an article on Antarctic Erotica, and also a chance for us to explore this topic.
In fact these are simply icebergs. They were not sculpted, or in any way crafted by a human being, Any erotic connotations seen are purely in the mind of the viewer. There may be some viewers (you?) who do not see genitalia. If that is the case, then please move along. Nothing to see here.
But its likely that you do see images that are sexual in nature. If they make you aroused, titter, frown, laugh or display almost any emotion at all, then they have succeeded in doing their job. Because the purpose of art is to stimulate the senses and the mind.
Michael – March, 2015