the work, it shows in the end result, ruining the piece.
One example of an artist who shows no hesitation in taking risks in creating art with a very powerful, erotic overtone, is Japanese photographer Ken-ichi Murata. Murata is a visionary who uses vines and tubes explicitly with his models, in fairytale-like settings that include frogs, ornate luggage trunks and skulls: it is imagery that fuses a tangible innocence with a true edginess. Furthermore, Murata captures his subjects in black and white; his “tender muse”, Yumiko Yamasaki, then paints the photos by hand, resulting in subdued tones that distance the finished pieces even further from reality and captivate the viewer. They are works that are complete unto themselves, incredibly intense, and thought-provoking to say the least.
I can’t help but admire Murata’s work, and it is the inspiration for my latest series of photographs, created with this issue of SomethingDark very much in mind by treating the concept of restraint and constriction as a form of high-tech corset fashioned by network cables – a kind of synthetic vine, in contrast to Murata’s more organic forms and settings.
I believe it’s the work of artists who create something genuinely new, push the boundaries and take risks that is
also the work that ultimately is truly admired, remembered and recorded in captured images and words for posterity. Eroticism, however, is a difficult terrain to navigate, as the erotic is all too often directly associated with its poor cousin, pornography, and the taboo subject of sex – the scapegoats used in the demoralising of erotic art, its creators and admirers.
It’s easy for someone to point the accusing finger of sex-taboo in judging a work of erotic art; faced with such acts of denunciation, others are rarely prepared to speak out for fear of being dismissed or even of being accused themselves. So many join the chorus of condemnation and thus contribute to propagating a society where true creativity isn’t celebrated, but judged.
Thus do many admirers of art feel constrained, as if they can’t appreciate