Eroticism in Art: Schiele, Dalí & Picasso

To find a transgressor of art it is to find a new way of thinking, a new way of seeing things and understanding them, it is up to us the way we take it, you either feel marvelled and eager to learn about it, or you can have the opposite reaction, thinking the artist went to far or maybe not far enough, the most inspiring thing about art it is that it varies the way people perceive them, everyone has their own opinion and can accept it or fight it instead.

Art it is as subjective as you want it to be, like the porno italiano that came out in the 90’s, a whole world by itself, there must be certain knowledge to interpret and read a piece, but what it is amazing about art it is that not only with knowledge you can have information of the piece, just by looking at it you can gather information and make a judgement inspired by how it made you feel, art breaks boundaries and seeks to transcend on it’s discourse and critique there is art for everyone, art can be categorized in many way, its discourse can be the same but the year the artwork was made has a lot to add on the richness and uniqueness of their relevance.

A non-common art is that of the erotic nature, there has been a lot of artist that are provocative, sensual and who do not commit to one style, always evolving and adding something to the sexual discourse, art can be turned into anything, even a political statement, its very nature allow us to feel uncomfortable and out of the loop, but if you look closer into the artwork and what it is trying to denounce you will be an active participant in its narrative.

Salvador Dalí

A versatile and multifaceted artist, this spanish painter did not accept those rules that were imposed on society, he was not interested in what was right and what was possible, he was interested in, he would look further and find that things can inspire other things and arte can look beyond oneself and the other way around, there are records that delve into Dalí’s sexuality, he was not a shy one, always showing exactly who he was, Dalí was worried about not being true enough, realistic enough, in his work laid the answers many were seeking about sexuality, it depicted it like a Freudian work or art, sometimes it would be too cryptic but the message was there, always poignant and trying to arise answers and many doubts on the viewer.


He said it himself: “Painting is just another way of keeping a diary,” and to put on image you own turmoils, your own questions and hesitations, passions and doubts those are part of the artist’s life, some passions come from an outside body, someone stumbling in the artist’s life who bring inner turmoil to the artist’s work and style, some might call them muses an artist’s inspiration coming, typically from a woman. Picasso kept looking for those round shapes, soft edges and neutral tones, his definition of a woman was his muse, Marie-Thérèse Walter was the apple of his eye he was so inspired by her that most of his art’s sexual exploration came from Marie-Thérèse, turning her into a key inspiration resource for his artistic development, you can see her influence and beauty portrayed by Picasso’s unique style on paintings like The Dream, the upper side of her face shows a penis-shaped line while her hands lay suspiciously on her lap, a sign of masturbation, the young woman looks like she’s calm maybe thinking about her lover. No doubt Picasso was controversial by his own hand and his mind allowed him to experience sexual enlightenment, and question whatever was considered “normal” back in those days, as his photographer friend, Brassaï said when asked about Picasso, “And everything is focused on the flamboyant steadiness of his gaze that bores into you, dominates you, devours you.”


Egon Schiele

His artwork resembles what poetry is about, and maybe you can get a glimpse of that feeling by looking at his artwork, this french painter was famous for his raw paintings, as you look at them you notice a strong stance from his models, but a subtle vulnerability that enrolls you into a world of tenderness, whispers and sometimes sharp edges. His body of work is versatile, the human form is his playground, he skips in the edges of the human form as a concept and as way of seeing the body itself, primarily inspired by the woman’s body he would follow raw and confident lines depicting his strongly confident about his own sexuality, and that of his mistress, for Schiele, Wally was his only muse, a model who used to pose for him, who later became his love interest only to be eclipsed by Edith Harris who would later marry and give his mistress up, something that he never quite accepted but had to since his wife would not permit him to see any other women and that would include painting them, which made a great impact on Schiele’s style, he even said himself he was not sexually free like he used to be and felt imprisoned.

We can see that many of these artist did not hesitate on exploring their own sexuality always trying to reach a breakthrough and find alternative ways to express those doubts and questions on their own mortality, on time and relationships, sex and bodies.

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