Art or Pornography?

So I was in Vienna  last week in a yet another post summer conference. One of the perks of such academic events are side activities such as strolling downtown, which in my case inevitably leads to museum visits.

A grand Viennese palace called Albertina, houses some of the world’s finest art collections, with permanent exhibits from the impressionist period and even a number of Picassos.

The Renaissance artist, Michaelangelo is even represented with this handsome sketch:

But I was a bit intrigued by a nude painting of an Austrian painter by the name of Egon Schiele (1890-1918). He painted this one in 1914:


In another exhibition hall in the same art museum, some modern photographs (1990s) are exhibited, including this one by an artist/photographer whose name I cannot recall at the moment.

Both pieces deal with the same subject, albeit at different time periods. I was wondering though how would one perceive them had they been in the pages of Playboy magazine. Would they cease to be called art and become transformed to mere pornographic images? How about if we take some pornographic photos from dirty magazines, frame them and put them in museum walls? Would they then become instant art pieces?

These ponderings remind me of a former professor of mine in a humanities class back in college who quipped, “If you start wanking off to a piece of nude art work, then it ceases to be art.” Indeed, as soon as I arrived in my hotel room, the two images above ceased to be art. LOL!  

About metromogli

MOGLi - A Brown in the Land of the Blues and Blondes
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4 Responses to Art or Pornography?

  1. Smek this! says:

    Maybe it’s more about the context how and where it’s presented. That Playboy cover will become art if you frame it on the wall AND you don’t have dildos hanging around it. LOL! Seriously, I don’t think nudeness isn’t porn by today’s standards, there has to be innuendo of coitus there to make it such. — You didn’t mention which two of these three pictures above made you do your own thang, now I have to guess 🙂

  2. Smek this! says:

    forgot to mention that there’s a unique exhibition of Picasso art in Helsinki at the moment. It’s a must. Be prepared for long queues!

  3. mogLi says:

    @Smek: Of course it was the sexy back of Michaelangelo’s subject which turned me on. LOL! Picasso is interesting but I’ve already have enough of him. It would be interesting though to see Helsinki at the start of autumn,,,when the Finns (and all Scandinavians for that matter) are especially depressed.

  4. Smek this! says:

    Yeah, you do that! Come see us Finns depressed and the capitol at its ugliest – makes the art of Picasso really stand out, LOL! Maybe the absence of obvious pornographic art makes you hesitate now 😉 Just kidding, as most of the time!

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