Celebrating the emerging artists of erotic art
The Tom of Finland Foundation continues the proud tradition of Touko Laaksonen with the launch of a new competition for emerging artists in the field of erotic art.
The purpose of this contest is twofold – to encourage artists to share their erotic work and to elevate the field of erotic art by rewarding some of the best current examples.
The contest is open to any artist with the exception of previous winners of this contest, or artists who are already selling erotic work commercially. All others are eligible: advertising designers, art students, or just midnight doodlers – anyone who creates erotic works of art.
Is gay erotica art or porn?
There’s a lot of queer artists out there, creating work that you could broadly categorise as gay erotica.
Tom of Finland was probably the grandfather of this genre as we know it today, but the erotic depiction of the male form is an art-form that be traced back through antiquity.
Art as an expression of homoeroticism
The artistic celebration of homoeroticism has been documented in pieces from Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, and the art of the Renaissance. There were also extensive representations of homoeroticism in the art of Ancient China and also Japan.
Whether or not something could be considered as erotic art probably depends on the context. For example, representations of the phallus are common in many cultures – often as fertility symbol. But where the representation of the male form is designed to titillate or generate arousal, then we’re clearly moving into the realms of the erotic.
It probably comes down to the intention of the artist, and the response generated when viewing the work.
Blurring the boundaries between art and porn
Contemporary artists are possibly less restricted by moral sensibilities or unwritten codes of conduct when it comes to what can be depicted in whatever medium they’re working with.
Does full-frontal nudity make it porn? Does an erect penis make it porn? Does a depiction of intercourse make it porn? It probably doesn’t matter either way. Any sort of depiction of the naked male form always has our attention.