Erotic stories

21 September - 15 November

The representation of sex and eroticism has varied greatly throughout art history; since the creation of the Paleolithic Venus to Jeff Koons and his Banality series, erotic art has forced the viewer to face with an unfiltered perspective of sex and the scandalous. Mirat Projects showcases works by established artists such as Pablo Picasso, Andre Derain, David Salle, Bert Stern or Robert Mapplethorpe, who invite you to reflect along emerging artists such as Miranda Makaroff, Carla Cascales or Mei Morettini, and artistic creations from other cultures/periods such as "shunga" illustrations or African sculptures from the 19th century carved in wood.

An engraving by Picasso or a woodcut by Katsushika Hokusai does not intend to just represent the nakedness of the explicit models or scenes, but rather constitutes a discourse on the theme itself, making something as hidden or repressed very much visible. In order to understand Erotic stories it would not be right to chronologically track the representations of art and sex, since from the beginnings, individuals felt the need to illustrate sex and its characteristics without coverup - whether by a religious reason, magical attributions, empowerment, lewd, or simple representation. Always varying in its symbolism and intention, it is important to consider the way in which we have consumed this type of art, and the way in which the viewer has been connecting in a different way to these works.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec Unknown Watercolor 40.5 × 61 cm

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

Unknown

Watercolor

40.5 × 61 cm

In this exhibition, past works are confronted with contemporary pieces, and it makes obvious that there has not been a gradual progression in terms of the representation of sex in art, instead, there has been a series of artistic movements spread throughout of history, which have assumed more and more freedom when dealing with this issue. A clear example are the "shunga" illustrations, framed in the popular school of ukiyo-e (paintings of the floating world), that was developed between the XVII and XX century and that sought to represent explicit sexual scenes of all kinds, not on a vulgar or obscene way, but to celebrate an innate act of Nature in a refined and sensitive way. This show has four works by the great artists Kitagawa Utamaro, Katsushika Hokusai, Chokyosai Eiri, Utagawa Kuniyosh framed in the nineteenth century that served as inspiration for many artists. Precisely, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec and Pablo Picasso, painters whom are also part of this exhibition, were collectors of "shunga" and were inspired by them for some of their works. Picasso, also great collector and amateur of African art, took this primitivism as a reference when creating, especially the figures and masks of Senufo women, which can be seen  juxtaposed to the work of the artist, inviting to contemplation. Other artists that can be found in Erotic Stories illustrate perfectly the open-mindedness and sexual liberation that was forged in New York during the 80s. David Salle, Robert Mapplethorpe and Bert Stern show, each in their own way, how they got rid of the socio-cultural ties of those years, being pioneers in the sexual artistic liberation of taboo topics such as female sexuality itself or homosexuality, which they recreated freely, with photography as the central axis.

The pieces exhibited by younger artists such as the artistic duo Mei Morettini, Dildo & Barbie Dolls, as well as the piece Traffic by the Swiss artist MARCK, use modern elements (a screen, a rubber dildo or a barbie) to critique today's culture relationship with sex, and how consumerism has commodified sex transforming it into a product. Carla Cascales and Miranda Makaroff add a feminine vision to the female sexuality representation, that something that has been silenced during decades, being interpreted most occasions from the masculine perspective, being shown in a playful and uninhibited way.

Erotic Stories guides the viewer, through the different works that compose it, towards a unitary vision of art, sex and artists that use this theme, arguing that it is impossible to dedicate a linear reading to them in time, but that it should be considered in what specific way the relationship between the spectator and the erotic art has evolved.

Pablo Picasso Untitled Oil on cardboard 26 × 26 cm

Pablo Picasso

Untitled

Oil on cardboard

26 × 26 cm

Antonio Guijarro Untitled, 1978-1979 Oil on cardboard 26 × 26 cm

Antonio Guijarro

Untitled, 1978-1979

Oil on cardboard

26 × 26 cm

Unknown Fertility altar Baule, Late 19th Century Carved wood and beads 58 × 55 × 18 cm

Unknown

Fertility altar Baule, Late 19th Century

Carved wood and beads

58 × 55 × 18 cm

Pablo Picasso Les deux modeles nudes, 1954 Lithograph 65 x 50 cm

Pablo Picasso

Les deux modeles nudes, 1954

Lithograph

65 x 50 cm

Unknown Figure of women Senufo, Late 19th Century Carved wood 54 × 15 × 15 cm

Unknown

Figure of women Senufo, Late 19th Century

Carved wood

54 × 15 × 15 cm

Miranda Makaroff Untitled, 2017 Marker on cardboard 49 x 69 cm

Miranda Makaroff

Untitled, 2017

Marker on cardboard

49 x 69 cm

Miranda Makaroff Untitled, 2017 Watercolor on paper 49 x 69 cm

Miranda Makaroff

Untitled, 2017

Watercolor on paper

49 x 69 cm

David Salle Untitled, 1989 Watercolor on paper 63,5 x 78,7 cm

David Salle

Untitled, 1989

Watercolor on paper

63,5 x 78,7 cm

Robert Mapplethorpe Dennis Speight, 1980 Silver gelatin on cardboard 38 × 39 cm

Robert Mapplethorpe

Dennis Speight, 1980

Silver gelatin on cardboard

38 × 39 cm

Katsushika Hokusai Adonis Flower, ca. 1822-1823 Xylograph 43 × 51 × 4 cm  

Katsushika Hokusai

Adonis Flower, ca. 1822-1823

Xylograph

43 × 51 × 4 cm

 

Kitagawa Utamaro Consenting Hands, ca. 1803 Xylography 46 × 37 × 6 cm

Kitagawa Utamaro

Consenting Hands, ca. 1803

Xylography

46 × 37 × 6 cm

Chokyosai Eiri Women using a dildo, 1801 Xylograph 33 × 28 × 4 cm

Chokyosai Eiri

Women using a dildo, 1801

Xylograph

33 × 28 × 4 cm

Bert Stern Marylin with apricot roses, 1962 Print with pigment Unique 60.9 × 40.6 cm

Bert Stern

Marylin with apricot roses, 1962

Print with pigment

Unique

60.9 × 40.6 cm

Carla Cascales Mocca Nude II, 2017 Watercolor on paper 56 x 76 cm

Carla Cascales

Mocca Nude II, 2017

Watercolor on paper

56 x 76 cm

Bert Stern Kate Moss, 2008 Digital print mounted on aluminium Edition of 25 152.4 × 127 cm

Bert Stern

Kate Moss, 2008

Digital print mounted on aluminium

Edition of 25

152.4 × 127 cm

Unknown  Le Voyeur (Paris, circa 1920) Ink on paper 20,5 x 5,29 cm

Unknown 

Le Voyeur (Paris, circa 1920)

Ink on paper

20,5 x 5,29 cm

Utagawa Kuniyoshi Keisai Eisen (Bedchamber Stories), 1822-1832 Xylograph Unique

Utagawa Kuniyoshi

Keisai Eisen (Bedchamber Stories), 1822-1832

Xylograph

Unique

Jose Manuel Capuletti Watercolor on paper 100 × 80 cm

Jose Manuel Capuletti

Watercolor on paper

100 × 80 cm

 
 

MARCK.tv

Traffic, 2012

Acrylic on canvas and screen

170 x 95 cm