Monday, June 15, 2015
Me And My Banana
This is another series inspired by the rules against pornography on deviantART. As much as I hate to be limited in the ways in which I can express myself through art and photography, I like to try to make the best of a bad situation. Ever since my early days working with a crappy point-and-shoot camera, I've made a habit of turning my limitations into creative challenges.
As early as the moment I switched over from flickr to deviantART, I had it in mind that the silver lining to the cloud of not being able to post "sexually explicit" images (which includes depictions of erections) could be the inspiration to make implied nude and sexually suggestive images that perhaps would be more accessible to wider audiences (and presentable in a wider variety of situations and contexts) than most of my art.
So here you have pictures like I've done in the past (such as this, this, and this), except that instead of being explicit and featuring an engorged penis, it is merely suggestive (and also adds a novel element of humor, that could serve to lighten the mood of what is usually a serious subject). I used Photoshop to selectively color the images, but otherwise they are all real - I really did pose with the banana as you see in these images, and then I made a smoothie of it afterwards. ^_^
With borderline images like these ones, you always run the risk of somebody getting offended and reporting it, and some staff member taking a liberal interpretation of the rules. Of course, any interpretation of the rules is going to be subjective, but my reading is that an image like these ones should - while provocative, and pushing the boundaries - be allowed. That remains to be seen, however.
Some people would say it's in bad taste to push the boundaries like this, but I think it's important for art at times to challenge viewers. I believe art that provokes doesn't get enough respect, but I guess that's not surprising, given that "to provoke" means to rile up, and people generally don't like that. Maybe it's the rebellious spirit of rock and roll that runs through my veins, but I think transgression is a virtue unto itself. What could be better than offending the conservative sensibilities of the bourgeois who seek to control the limits of how you're allowed to express yourself, and determine what can properly be considered art?
If you don't like art that provokes, that means you're part of the Establishment, and I've always been anti-Establishment. Are you so satisfied with the way things are, that you can't stand to have anyone rock the boat? Well not me. I support freedom and diversity, and that means being exposed to things that might challenge you and your expectations and your beliefs about people and the world we live in. You might not like nude art or depictions of human sexuality, but you may as well grow a pair, because it's going to be out there, and you might just encounter it every now and then - even in places you might not be expecting it.