We always question what art is, others say it is technique, others that it is a means of expression ... as many opinions as people ... It is a perception of the mind, a stimulating construction and its interpretation is just as suggestive.
Desire remains probably the most universal instinct in human history, and since ancient times many artists have sought to represent the erotic impulse or have been inspired by it. In millenary cultures, erotic art was the object of worship to the divinities. Many times the result of these works is figurative, obvious, and other times it is subtle but eminently suggestive.
The painting, sculpture, jewelery, curious objects, erotic-themed watches from ancient times to our times have been highly valued, and are considered a rising value, coveted by collectors. In addition to its artistic, aesthetic, economic value and its execution complications (when it comes to objects with complicated mechanics, such as clocks, boxes with automatons ...), especially the 18th-19th centuries, they were highly desired, since by the social-religious context were not works that were exhibited in public, and they are pieces that have been made to order, a whole ritual that fed the desire for the work and the story that it told or represented for everyone.
Since the 1960s, eroticism is perceived as a transgression, sexual practices such as fetishism, leather or BDSM, become an aesthetic of counterpower.
Currently, artists continue to address the erotic and sexuality theme, challenging the viewer, with new forms of expression through different media, techniques, materials, innovative languages ... Art was, is and will always have great capacities to surprise, excite us, provoke us and as Einstein said, "Beauty resides in the heart of those who contemplate it".
By Cristina Baulenas
Cultural manager and art and antiques expert
*Photo : Golden automaton musical clock c.1810. Sold at the Swiss Antiquorum Auction for € 95,000