Art

Your dad makes porn?

by Cordelia Daniels

US-based artist Alan Daniels worked on Ridley Scott’s film Blade Runner, but the work he produces is not so much science fiction as social–psychic–metaphysical commentary embellished with strong fetishistic overtones. Those who are paradoxically obsessed with “porn” and condemn his work as such (as much as those fans who, we must say, can’t see past the fetishism), simply don’t get it. We do, and we think he’s a genius.
The following article was written
by his daughter.

“Your dad makes porn?”
the question, and the way it was asked struck a nerve with me. Here I was at an art college, surrounded by naked bodies on a daily basis, and the teacher was calling my father out for his imagery. My mind travelled to the first week of Introduction to Art History, where we looked at slides of the Woman of Willendorf and other naked sculptures. Porn was never a term used then, so why was this woman, this educated, artistic woman, using it now?

I looked at the images I had brought in. Just a couple, some of my favorites, a

few paintings and a couple of sketches. I didn’t see porn when I looked at the computer printouts. I saw a lot of things, but never porn. Some days, when I look at my father’s paintings, I see my mother, her hands and feet so often used as the example to paint from. Some days I see conversations I have had with my father brought to life, dreams he has told me about made physical in vibrant colours, gilded in gold. Without fail though, when I look at my father’s art, something so beautiful that even after 26 years of exposure to it, I can’t help but stare.

I don’t know the first time someone pointed out that my father made what boiled down to beautiful smut. I saw my father’s images as futuristic pin-up girls. I grew up listening to tape recordings of Ruby, where android people talked to human-sized rats and his women seemed to fit into that world seamlessly. The term “porn” was attached to ideas of degrading women. My gender-studies classes told me to pull away from that male-centric world and immerse myself in a reality where women were not flawless idols. Porn to me signified something dirty and

Art - Curator by Alan Daniels
art
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