KamART Sutra: On Sex Energy and Contemporary Art

A meditation on sex as it stands without societal connotation and violent perversion through the lens of contemporary art.

Intro by - Citizen Brooklyn Story by Max Power -

Sex, as a physical act, is a vehicle, a medium if you will. It is through this medium that human beings perpetuate some of our most vicious acts of hatred, but also some of our most pure and divine acts of love and affection. India, in the past and present, is and has been home to both. In this cover’s POV, “The Shredded Heart”, we discuss the darkest side of sex. As a counterbalance, we offer a completely different chapter in sexual history. What if we removed the negative and the positive, and view sex not as a medium, but as a standalone concept to be interpreted and utilized in the many mediums of art? Our own Max Power sheds light on this uncommon vision of one of our most controversial human expressions:

In our society, the only people capable of speaking openly about sex energy and publically celebrating their passion for sex without perversion or violence are artists (The good ones).

If no one ever spoke to me of love, it probably wouldn’t have ever occured to me. I would have solely focused on relationships and desire. Many crimes have been committed by people seeking “love”, many women have been abused as victims of passionate violence because they did or did not love someone. From my point of view, the idealized perception that we have of love is the cause. Religion, control, socio-cultural conditions, and individual neurosis add fuel to the fire. We were happy monkeys doing the do in caves, and then, at some point, poof, it all got twisted.

So, fuck love.

If love is out of the picture… What’s remains?

The most ancient cave painting, made around forty thousand years ago, is a vagina. Not much has changed, and this is why I noticed that a powerful energy source for contemporary artists is still sex. Sex is one of our main taboos. By definition, a taboo is a vehement prohibition of an action based on the belief that such behavior is either too sacred or too accursed for ordinary individuals to undertake, under threat of supernatural punishment. I’d like to add that this prohibition is mostly in our mind, a product our superego.

When did the act of sex become a taboo that turned a great interplay into a series of perversions and violent acts? I think that “Love” is at least partially responsible.

Interestingly, contemporary artists, who often don’t envision themselves as “ordinary individuals”, embrace this taboo, celebrating the beauty of sex energy.

In this gallery, I selected a number of art works that focus on sex and related taboos. A crazy Kama Sutra full of joy and poetry.

“Art offers the possibility of love with strangers.” – Walter Hopps.

The Chauvet Venus, 40,000 B.C. This is the first painting ever made by a human being. It's the most ancient of the Chauvet cave.

Marcel Duchamp playing chess with Eve Babitz at the Pasadena Art Museum.

Andrea Fraser, Untitled, Video tape, 2004.

About this piece, the artist stated: “If I’m going to have to sell it, I might as well sell it”. In the video the artist is seen having sex in what some have characterized coyly as ”every imaginable position” with an unidentified American collector who paid close to twenty thousand dollars to participate in this curious sixty-minute work of art.

"WATER IN MILK EXISTS" by Kiki Allgeier and Lawrence Weiner

In May of 2008, Lawrence Weiner teamed up with cinematographer Kiki Allgeier to realize “WATER IN MILK EXISTS”, a fresh skin flick that challenges both artistic and pornographic conventions. The film contains quotations from the artist’s children books, austere dialogues on string theory, animations, and a lot of carnal action.

“Rosa Perfetto”, Alterazioni Video, 2010.

This film was commissioned by the Mar Museum in Ravenna. After the shooting, a political evaluation made by the Museum censored it and it has not been screened since then. In the film, a young lady has sex with a stone statue of a knight that Italian women have been kissing for three-hundred years, believing they would subsequently be wed within a year (this was a popular belief).

Adelle Lutz, “Corporate Adam and Eve”.

Jhon Baldessari, “Phillips”.

Valérie Blass, “Dans la Position Très Singulière qui est la Mienne”.

Von Bandits, “Porn without Porn”.

Cecily Brown, “Service de Luxe”.

Michael Cogliantry, “Furry Kama Sutra”.

Jake & Dinos Chapman, “Tragic Anatomies” (detail).

Tracy Emin, “I Used to Have Such a Good Imagination”.

Marina Abramovic, "Balcan Erotic Epic"

Bruce Nauman, “Sex and Death”.

Paul McCarthy, “The Garden”.

Sarah Lucas, “Nuds”.

Valérie Blass, “Presque Plus”, 2008.

Jeff Koons, “Made in Heaven”.


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