New York

“The Explicit Image”

Ex Voto Gallery

While the debate rages about pornography—its definition, purpose, and social implications—artists continue to create a free zone in which graphic erotic imagery and art interface apart from sociological categorization. In no area are the issues more tangled than in photography; the technical capabilities of film have shifted erotic discourse away from literature, from the nuance of the written word to the bluntness of the visual image.

“The Explicit Image: an exhibition of 55 erotic photographs culled from the 3,500 images in the Vasta Images/Books collection, was a curatorial statement about pornography a recontextualization of erotic photography from Victorian times (ca. 1880) up to the swinging ’60s and the marketing of mass-produced hard-core pornography. Surprisingly, there was no attempt to define or even distinguish among the ”erotic’“ the ”pornographic," and the simply nude.

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