Butow MalerLena and Extreme (2013)

This appears to be from Maler’s eMagination 05: Porn Art. (A full, lo-res preview is available on Blurb.)

Here: my gaze enters the frame following the baseboards rightward thrust; the reversed symmetry of her left food to his right foot draws my eye away from the deep shadows dominating the left third of the frame; reverse symmetry is emphasized again by the echoed angles of their opposing, correspondent legs.

Upward trajectory is reinforced by the momentum of his taut musculature–sumptuously rendered in B&W–leaning into her body her body at an angle almost perfectly perpendicular to the baseboard approach vector.

In the gap between their bodies, her right breast is framed and balanced against the dizzyingly sharp focus on her left hand transferring her unsupported weight onto his arm, which in turn pulls her center of gravity towards him; the way his arm hiding her face (LOVE); the nearly seamless skin tone merging between the inside of her left knee and his triceps. 

Lastly, I notice the wall’s texture. (Look closely, the faintest hint of it recurs in the left third of the frame, differentiating between the strobes vignetting and shadow cast by his body.

For all it’s sophistication, the couple’s pose is unwieldy. Yes, it convey some of the immediacy, the laser-like focus on sensation that can mark the initiation of intimacy. All well and good but this doesn’t square with Maler’s subtitle: Porn Art.

Word order is always telling: art appended to porn. On one level, the implicit claim works: the images demonstrate a solid grasp of craft and familiarity with art conventions. On another level: thought the presentation is consummately ‘artistic’–I find it neither especially arousing nor justified in its pretense to Art.

In effect, it has matters turned the wrong way ’round: it’s one thing to make sexuality the crux of one’s creative output; quite another, to create work from a template of what is considered meritorious–it is possible to make Art that is pornographic (Klimt’ll tell you all about it); Porn Art is not nor will it ever be a ‘real’ thing.

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