Erotic, but do the still infuriate? And, is it art?

Like the author of this NY Times article, I john_1450remember when my female friends were infuriated by Mel Ramos art. Personally, I never was a big fan of his work.  He’s still painting similar works, raising issues of the role of sex in art.

Mr. Ramos is still painting naked, pneumatic women emerging “Birth of Venus”-like from candy-bar wrappers and banana peels, riding oversize cigars like horses and otherwise toying with the lubricious responses of his viewers. What is different is that a 50-year history of ever more sexually provocative imagery in art and popular culture at large makes Mr. Ramos’s paintings now seem comparatively innocent and even wholesome.

Having at one time collected works of other artists in this article, John Curran and Lisa Yuskavage, early in their carriers, I am not afraid of sexual imagery in contemporary art, so I like the issues raised by this article.  What is the proper use of sexual imagery in art?  Can pornography be high art?  Read it and let me know what you think.

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