This argument has been debated for hundreds (if not thousands) of years. Where is the line draw between art and pornography? When does a painting depicting nudity for example stop being art, and slide down into the realms of porn? This articles looks at the two words and attempts to solve this argument once and for all!
The basics – a definition of art and pornography
First we should look at how these two things are defined. What does the reputable English Oxford Dictionary class Art and Porn as – lets see:
Art: The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.
Pornography: Printed or visual material containing the explicit description or display of sexual organs or activity, intended to stimulate sexual excitement.
So what does this mean?
We can take two key phrases from these definitions and look at the purpose of each word. Art is any creative work that should be appreciated for its beauty or emotional power. That is the primary purpose of art – to invoke emotions and to inspire people. The Mona Lisa for example is a beautiful piece of art – we appreciate the craftsmanship. We are also intrigued by what the portrait may mean and why the woman is smiling in a strange way. Art – creative works for appreciative purposes to broaden our minds.
Pornography on the other hand is created to stimulate sexual excitement. That is its primary purpose – to cause sexual arousal. Michelangelo did not create the statue of David as a sexual object – he created it to show the human form and a historical figure.
Pornography is purely created for our own sexual pleasure – we look at and watch pornography to satiate our own desires and lusts. If you see two people involved in a graphic sexual act, what are your first thoughts? They certainly aren’t about the quality of the photography! There is the main difference between art and pornography – the purpose and intent.