Nov 3, 2011

TREND | Ejaculation in Art | Cum On Me.

Norbert Bisky, Bukkake Tsunami, 2007, Oil/Canvas, 70X50 cm

I am fascinated with ejaculation in art. Besides from being hot and messy,  I find myself incorporating sex and ejaculation more and more into my own visual art.  As my own art has developed, and my concepts have become more articulated, I have sought out other artists that explore ejaculation in their artwork.  I ask questions about what the role of ejaculation plays in artwork, whether it is a trend dominated by male artists, and whether sexually objectifying men and women play an important role in ejaculation art. The artists I researched, however,  tended to focus their artwork on sociopolitical and religious criticism.  I also found artists who celebrate ejaculation, whether it be in "queer" art or as a celebration of masculinity pride.
The paintings of Norbert Bisky offer stunning imagery of young males being ejaculated on by unseen men.  Many of his images are of queer culture; yet many are violent and not of queer culture at all. His gallery is impressive in its variety of ejaculatory imagery. Finding Bisky's work online is easy: finding interviews, and then finding them translated to English, is another story.  Yet I was able to track down some information on Bisky and why ejaculation became such a powerful tool for his paintings. These images stem from a child born into a German family deeply rooted in religious rule and communist oppression.

Andres Serrano, Untitled VII (Ejaculate in Trajectory), 1989, cibachrome, silicone, plexiglas, wood frame, 40"X60"

Andres Serrano might be the best known artist today working with ejaculation in his artwork.   His photograph, Untitled VII (Ejaculate in Trajcectory) is a beautiful stream of captured color on film.  Without the title, the viewer would not readily identify the subject.  And like Bisky, Serrano's artwork is deeper than just ejaculation as sexual action:  many of his images depict bodily fluids on Christ and other Christian figures.  Serrano's work has been so controversial in the past that Congress threatened to pull public funding for his photograph Piss Christ. 

Andres Serrano, Semen & Blood II, 1990, cibachrome, silicone, plexiglas, wood frame, 40"X60"

Not all contemporary artists working with ejaculation seem to frame their work around oppression, however.  Cary Kwok, according to John Coulthart (a fellow contemporary artist working with ejaculation in art) is trying to bring attention to the art of male ejaculation.  Coulthart, a book designer, comic artist and illustrator, states that Kwok's work:
serve(s) to remind one that the cum shot is under-represented in art. Despite various Biblical prohibitions, women have been subject to no end of sexual display throughout art history, from copulations with gods in the form of animals to Danaë’s impregnation by Zeus as a literal golden shower. But male sexuality, especially at its most essential moment, has rarely been depicted outside the pages of pornography. The irony of this, as with arguments against erections in art, is that if it wasn’t for ejaculations we wouldn’t be here to discuss their pros and cons.

Kwok's ink work, titled Cumrades, is a prime example of the pride, and some might say silliness, of masculine ejaculation.  The artwork depicts numerous naked, muscular and erect men in various poses ejaculating into space beyond the picture plane.  I was unable to upload an image of this work that was of good quality, but Kwok's artwork (including Cumrades) is available online.

Jonathan Peters, Cutter (In Progress), 2011, Charcoal/Watercolor Paper, 6' 5" X  4' 0"
In the charcoal drawing, Cutter, by Jonathan Peters (and author of this blog post), the ejaculatory imagery is more abstracted than Peters' contemporaries.  While still early in his career, I am a Texas State University Fine Art student with an emphasis in drawing. Mainly dealing in the abstract of  "emotional realism", Cutter is a portrait of a woman (the source image was a professional art model) emerging and "cutting out" from a rock-like background.  The cuts on her legs, and other areas of her body, suggest the action of cutting   as a way to deal with emotional trauma.  Yet s these emotional concepts are stretched farther by drawing upon the woman's chest and arms a contour map, at once making the woman feel android-like in appearance and thus objectifying her.  The lines around her breasts and genitalia represent the presence of semen on the woman after the act of ejaculation; and the woman's face reflects the deadness of having been objectified by these events of her life.  Her face is left with scars from unseen traumas, and her underwear rest lazily in her right hand as if she has played this part many times before.  The aftereffects of ejaculation on her body and calm resignation in her face suggest the woman's denial of the abuse she has received.

Pablo Picasso, Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, 1907, Oil on Canvas, 8' X 7'8"

Ejaculation in art has historical context. Just about everything that can be analyzed about Picasso's famous Les Demoiselles d'Avignon has been examined, yet the painting still deserves attention in that it has influence on contemporary art.  While there is not a visual representation of ejaculation onto the women, the hostile sexuality exuding from the women projected from Picasso's psyche does evoke a primitive desire to reinsert domination over these women through sexual intercourse.  Ejaculation and orgasm serves as the communication to which these women would understand is instrumental toward their success to reproduce; and ejaculation also underscores the biological necessity of mans' place in this process, furthering to validate this control western society needed to have over women during Picasso's era.   This need for sexual and gender control has continued into contemporary times and art.


Contemporary artists are now using ejaculation more as a means to explore the sociopolitical nature of society;  as religious zeal continues to climb farther into hysteria post 9/11, artists are using ejaculation as a rejection of religious fervor; contemporary artists are using ejaculation in art to show maleness; artists are using the responsibility for impregnation as male empowerment; queer art (sometimes) depicts ejaculation as a means to celebrate the beginnings of gay rights being recognized; and, finally, artists are using ejaculation as a way to show the emotional trauma of people that experienced emotional, physical, and sexual abuse at the hands of others.



--Jonathan Peters


 



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