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Senserotic Art

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celeste teal

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I just discovered the art of Lisa Yuskavage the other day while image browsing (a pleasurable, but very addictive habit). I felt an instant attraction to her style, and quickly binged-browsed for other works by her. Her style and subject matter is an interesting blend of sensuality, affection, and eroticism that I feel playfully captures the unique beauty of love between women.

 

 

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Anna on Top - 2006

 

 

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Crawling Out - 2014

 

 

 

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The Aristocrats - 2007

 

 

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Drag - 2007

 

 

 

 

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Piggyback Ride - 2009

 

 

 

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Grooming - 2003

 

 

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Mutualism - 2006

 

 

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Greengrapes - 2007

 

 

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Teresa and Lauren - 2008

 

 

 

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Lisa in her studio

 

 

 

References:

 

http://www.yuskavage.com

 

Lisa Yuskavage – Upstaging Masculinity and Speaking With the Power of Pretty. Kristeva, Lacan and an Aside That Changes Everything

http://blog.seattlep...ower-of-pretty/

 

The Overwhelmer: An Interview with Lisa Yuskavage

http://bordercrossin...-lisa-yuskavage

 

Lisa Yuskavage Quotes

http://www.azquotes....-Lisa_Yuskavage


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Too cartoon-like for my taste.

 

Her style is somewhat cartoon-y, but I think that is an essential part of what she is trying to show - the essence of love between women. A degree of abstraction, or cartoonishness is needed to get this across because a more realistic portrayal of the women would probably be perceived as pornographic and/or objectification of women, and aimed at the male gaze. This style mostly avoids that, I think.

 

However even her abstract style caused some trouble with an Australian art magazine - they wouldn't allow nipples to be shown on their cover:

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I completely understand what you're saying. But don't you think that says a lot about our society?

 

Art and media are some of the best channels to start catalysts that challenge peoples opinons. If it doesn't elicit some kind of reaction, then what's the point?

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I completely understand what you're saying. But don't you think that says a lot about our society?

 

Art and media are some of the best channels to start catalysts that challenge peoples opinons. If it doesn't elicit some kind of reaction, then what's the point?

 

It says quite a bit about our fascination with sex but at the same time our unwillingness to accept it fully and openly. I think that Yuskavage cleverly found a style that she could use to "sneak" in positive images about female sexuality that doesn't require the presence of a male, or the eyes of a male for validation.

 

A more realistic "in-your-face" style would have created a much greater reaction with various oppositional groups fuming and sputtering, but I don't think the art world would have accepted it as interesting or novel enough to be considered "valid" art. Her style though is clever and subversive - the cartoons disguise a message of sumptuous, juicy and tender sexuality - which the art world seems to appreciate.

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What is porn to one person is erotica to another and the line between the two has been argued for centuries.

 

There is a lot of (for want of a better term) "cartoon porn" out there and these works could easily be considered to be part of that genre. So I guess it depends upon your point of view as to whether they are exploitative or positive portrayals.

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Thanks for you comment Golightly63

 

I think there is some controversy within the art world about whether Yuskavage is praising and celebrating women having sex with each other or mocking the attention that society gives to it. That uncertainty of meaning is what they seem to like about it though. I was surprised to learn that one her paintings was auctioned for over $ 1 million recently.

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