All notions of the Erotic are rooted in the human body.
Corpuscles, skin cells, nerve endings-for human beings it
doesn't get any realer. These are the things we all share.
Even when the cells are not our own, we can readily empathize,
and to a degree that we can never expect to identify with
the objects, plants or other animals of this world or imaginary
ones, attractive though they may be to us.
And yet, for us humans, sex is always more complicated than
the simply, purely physical. For the blissfully oblivious
dogs that are going at it down on the corner, sex may be unencumbered,
itself and nothing else. For human beings, freighted as we
are with active minds, sex is always contaminated with what
it's not. Is the human mind ever livelier than when it's got
sex on the brain? Of all the varied precincts of human endeavor,
none seem so exquisitely susceptible to the slightest flicker
of the psyche. Sex starts with a deep, gut-tugging physical
want that already sets it apart from everything else in human
The Erotic is infused as well with all that extra-physical
stuff that makes up human desire. Maybe that's why we call
it longing: want over a distance we can never hope to bridge.
Erotic Art brings to matters of sex the scrutinizing eye,
first the artist's and then the spectator's. In doing so,
it introduces a particular kind of mental distance between
observer and observed: the esthetic. And yet, for the observer
of erotic art, the observed can become from first sighting,
at least in potential, the desired as well. Esthetic distance,
when the subject is sex, is inclined to quick and profound
erosion. Are we pointing yet? Well then, let's follow our,
uh, bliss on a trip to subterranean realms where those practiced
lovers, the physical and the psychological, intermingle like
light and shadow. And let's call the journey down our Dark
Memorable erotic artists, in the course of creating a body
of work, lay claim to a very particular realm. Every artist's
domain has its own quality of darkness, a flavor, odor, texture
and aura by which we come to know the artist we love (or don't),
a complete sensory world and its extrasensory spillover. Such
work feels as primal and as deeply shadowed as a Grimm's fairy
tale, yet all grown up and rated X. Yeah, that world may be
narrower than the real world, but who's complaining? Because
it's as focused on its needs as a hard-on, it offers the promise
of an esthetic equivalent to climax.
The show exhibits some 150 works, photographs, drawings and
paintings, by dozens of artists, some known and some new,
some famous and some obscure, each a master of those damp,
dimly lit recesses where sex meets psyche. As such, each artist
makes the perfect candidate to take you on a unique, memorable
So saddle up: we hope you like it bumpy.
The Leslie/Lohman Gay Art Foundation,
established in 1990, is a nonprofit organization dedicated
to furthering the awareness and appreciation of GLBTQ art
that may not be exhibited due to prejudice and ignorance.
Since its inception the Foundation’s gallery has presented
over 200 exhibitions including hundreds of gay and lesbian
artists whose work represents the fundamental view that “gay
art” does exist and that the “gay/lesbian”
artist has contributed immeasurably to our visual culture
from prehistoric to ancient Greece to the contemporary era.
The Foundation has a considerable permanent
collection of art, including, Andy Warhol, Duncan Grant, Delmas
Howe, Jean Cocteau, Deni Ponty, Sonia Melara, Cassandra, Marsden
Hartley, Horst, Bastille, Blade, Tom of Finland, Michael Kirwan,
and many more.