Love & Sex

New Erotic Art Exhibit Makes You Step Outside Your Comfort Zone (NSFW)

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"Just enough inspiration to go home and get it on."

Jazz-Minh Moore, French Vineyard, acrylic

As I made my way into the NY Studio Gallery on a bright afternoon this weekend, I was immediately greeted by a huge black canvas that said, "I'D FUCK ME," in bold, rhinestone-esque script. I giggled to myself. I knew Hotter than July: Eat Your Art Out wasn't going to be your typical small gallery fare.

Trevor Guthrie, Terms of Endearment, charcoal drawing

Open mouths, bare asses, and colorful genitals covered the two-story space in a collection of 25 of the most compelling contemporary erotic artists. The exhibit's curator, Savannah Spirit claims that the pop up show's purpose is about reawakening and escaping the doldrums of winter and censorship. "This is the second Hotter Than July show I've done," Savannah tells Nerve, noting the first show was in July, 2011. "This time it seemed particularly important for me to do this exhibition because I feel like every time I saw or read the news it had me more and more depressed. Through it, there was a desire to escape all of this crazy bad news. Plus, this winter on the east coast lasted forever. I was ready for some fun. Spring is a perfect time to have a show like this. It gives a feeling of renewal."

Linda Griggs, British Steering Wheel, black walnut ink on paper

Lowell Boyers, Explosive Union, painting on paper

As I walked through the exhibit, the pieces — like Ambrose and Wether's alumitypes and Frank & Moskowitz's photographs — conjured an earlier time, when smut was confined to small, tasteful postcards secreted away in drawers. Others, like Randy Palumbo's phallic glass sculptures and Yulina Lanina's stop motion collages make the viewer question what contemporary erotica can be.

A man in his 30s walking through the gallery seemed a bit put off by the blunt and open sexuality of the exhibit. "This seems like porn. I wasn't ready for it," he told me. He pointed at a computer installation with pornographic links covering the screen. "Is this a sinkhole?" he wondered aloud. Another man saw the balance of the art with the erotic. He noted, "Classy. Just the right amount of sex."

Alexandra Rubinstein, Looking for Mr. Goodsex, #18, oil on canvas

 

Constance & Eric, Feel, archival pigmented inkjet

Savannah, who was first drawn to erotica when she discovered Anaïs Nin at 17, is used to the spectrum of strong responses to the work, "This show is designed to titillate and give the viewer just enough inspiration to go home and get it on. Plus, there is humor in sex and I felt it was important to have some wit within the exhibition."

Joanne Leah, Earth, photograph

Archibald Frank & Syrie Moskowitz, Basement Tweed 1, archival pigmented inkjet

"I want to put projects out there that challenge people to face their own taboos however, I can't speak for anyone else. In the end, this about my own taboos and how much I'm willing to accept," Savannah says. "I also enjoy watching other people react to the exhibition, it bring out the voyeur in me."

Ambrose + Wether, Teacher's Pet, alumitype

If you can't make it to the real show, an online magazine that coincides with the exhibit is available for .99 cents. Where else can you get hot titillating imagery for that inexpensive?

The exhibition is only open until May 9th (with gallery hours 2-9pm) at 154 Stanton St.

Yuliya Lanina, Collage 34, collage and acrylic paint 

Faith Holland, VVVVV, mixed media installation

For more sexy art, you can check out the Hotter than July Tumblr.