These fuck paintings feel more dispiriting and vulgar than risque (NSFW)
July 31, 2012 8:14 AM Subscribe
Fuck Paintings, by Betty Tompkins [NSFW] The large scale photorealistic paintings of heterosexual intercourse which Betty Tompkins made between 1969 and 1974 were practically unknown when they were exhibited together for the first time in New York in 2002. The idea of sex without a hint of modesty or mediation was too much to handle (nsfw) in a day and age when the word “hell” (not uttered on television until 1967) raised eyebrows and Penthouse was the scourge of morality for showing pubic hair (1969). It’s no surprise, then, that Tompkins originally titled her series Joined Forms in an earnest — albeit tongue-in-cheek — appeal to fit within the period
Choice comment from the second article:
Compared to, say, Courbet's "The Origin of the World" (1866), Duchamp's "Étant donnés" (1969), or especially Japanese shunga prints from the mid 1700s – which make today's "hardcore" pornography look pretty imaginationless – these fuck paintings feel more dispiriting and vulgar than risque. I suppose I should see them in person but I suspect that might amplify the sadness.