I make Erotic Paintings to honor lust ! I make them to celebrate lust and obliterate the concept of original sin. I summon the power of lust to heal, and to reaffirm our right to express our sexuality in all its glorious and silly permutations.
By appropriating Judeo Christian themes and sexualizing them, my erotic paintings do battle with institutions, political and religious, who use shame and fear to control people and manipulate them into creating and enforcing laws that run counter to their natural sexual impulses.
On March 4th, 1994, an exhibition of my erotic paintings opened at the Julie Rico gallery in Los Angeles. The title of the show was ” Sacred Porn” . That evening I was approached by a woman trembling with emotion. She angrily pointed to a painting of Jesus with an erection and demanded to know why I had painted THAT!
This is what I told her:
I painted Jesus in the soft light of dawn because he has just risen from a deathly sleep. His open robes reveal a fully erect penis. The tilt of his head and a slight rising of his shoulders create a subtle shrug and the bemused look on his face says
” Here I am, a man like any other, rising in the morning with an erection, why is this a problem for you?” Morning wood is the product of the “Intelligent Designer” and it seems blasphemous to me to declare his work shameful or indecent.
Erotic paintings and sculpture have a rich and varied history. Produced by artists and consumed in public or private they have always been at the mercy of the tastes and priorities of those in power. From the incredible scale and grace of the temple sculpture at Khajuraho India from the 11th century, to Ovid’s ” Ars Amatoria (Art of Love) , great works of erotic art have fallen prey to the political motives of those in power and many have been lost to the bonfires of “moral cleansing”.
Today the world is awash in internet pornography, most of it crude, boring and through sheer volume, dulling to the senses. One of the challenges facing the creator of erotic paintings is to restore the sense of wonder and even innocence at the amazing way we couple and attempt to make new life, or simply explore the way our bodies respond to a variety of stimulations. Erotic paintings are a stimulant whose power is limited only by the skill and love we invest in them, and the courage we show in offering them to the world.