Thursday, May 22, 2014

A journalist conducted this interview with me (by email) in the spring of '02 for an art magazine that seems to have disappeared. A shame to let it I've brought it to you myself.
What is it about erotic art that compels you to create it?
MK:I simply see sexuality as something so human, so grotesque and ripe for satirization, that I  cannot help but be attracted to it as a subject for my art.
What qualifies as erotic art, something titillating, sexually arousing, voyeuristic? Political?
MK: For me, it is a successful use of the artist's tools (color and the paint mediums) to approximate the feelings before, during or after coitus. Willem De Kooning said that "oil paint was made for painting the nude". I use acrylics when I paint, and, like oil, it is ideal for my own rough, expressionistic expression of sensuality. The female form especially is slammed onto the canvas with heavy slashes of paint, sometimes of fairly decayed-looking hues. The action of the woman's body and the thoughts of the individual's brain are what I attempt to capture (in the spirit of the Ukiyo-e artists) ; in the paintings of strippers, there is even a sadism. Romanticization is almost non-existent. I would say that, for myself, eroticism springs just as much from the evocative emotions of the subjects as anything else. Just showing a couple f---ing won't do it.
Am I off the track here, perhaps erotic art has nothing to do with sexuality, but stripping the human form back to something real, something raw, honest and or candid?
MK: This is getting very close to it for me. The words 'eroticism' and 'sexuality' can connote idealization, but, as stated previously, I work to attain what may be percieved as the opposite; a representation of humanity that is satirical, full of bile, yet humanistic. Not terribly easy to do.

Is erotica directly related to our sexuality or can it be an androgynous commodity?
MK: I suppose in our hip, cynical, yet dewy-eyed society, it can be, but that doesn't interest me in the least. Any sort of sexual art will be sexist, because a man or woman created it. To me, politically correct eroticism, taking all pains not to offend, and attempting to see a situation from all possible sides, is condescending. Such attempts cheat the audience of an experience it should be allowed to rightfully enjoy...or not enjoy.
Who are some artists/ periods of history in which erotic art appealed/ inspired you?
MK: There are many. As stated, Japan's 'floating world' print artists of the late nineteenth century, particularly Yoshitoshi; the Australian Norman Lindsay, famous for his prints and paintings of lush classically derived nudes of the first sixty years of the last century; the popular Tamara De Lempicka and other European artists of 'Art Moderne' sexuality of the 1920s & 1930s. Such Russian painters as V. Lyapkalo are celebrating with new, freely painted, delightfully carnal-looking nudes.
What doesn't qualify as erotic art?
MK: Pin-up paintings can be classified as at least using eroticism, but to me they do not qualify as erotic art because they reflect so little of a human experience. They are genre paintings, meant to deliver certain proscribed messages with a proscribed number of gimmicks. Individualized techniques are rare; in this regard, Earl Moran and Zoe Mozert were standouts. Moran's women seemed franker and fleshier.
Is painting as strong a medium as photography in this realm?
MK: A photograph can be manipulated in wondrous ways by the photographer, but the result will always be a manipulated photograph. In this way, the painter, starting off fresher and owing to no one but himself, has an advantage; he is the presenter of the theater of his own mind. But the erotic painter takes risks that the photographer is safe from. Viewers will agree at least on the 'sexiness' of a given photo; staying within certain perimiters, the photographer cannot help but be pleasing to the visual vocabulary we have built up; he is, after all, working in a different kind of partnership with God's handiwork. Painted art is so subjective! Techniques and styles will not translate to everyone, and if a viewer doesn't dig the approach, he may remain blind to whatever message the artist is working to convey. No painter can be 'erotic' to all.


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