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The International Women's Erotic Art Competition 2014



Competition Winner

Stumbling Block by Mitra Saboury

Stumbling Block (3) from Mitra Saboury on Vimeo.

Mitra Saboury plays out an intimate and evocative interaction with the urban landscape. In the winning vignette, one of four parts of the work, we witness how her moist and fleshy tongue erotically licks a gritty crack in the ground, while the artist's face is pressed against the mottled pavement. We watch the encounter between the objects, at once arousing and disgusting as the tongue tastes and tests the texture beneath. Saboury explores the impact of the urban environment on the human body. As the work was made in London, the artist reflects the fascination we have with our urban environment, the often vain relationship Londoner's have with the city, coupled with the harsh and gritty reality of living in one of the most oversubscribed places in the world. - Lana Bountakidou

M. Saboury's work made me shriek out loud when I first encountered it. Just surprise. I was intellectualizing initially about how the crack must taste and feel. I decided it alienated me, the idea of licking...was it a road? Licking something or someone that shouldn't be licked. A kind of polymorphous perversion except not perverse exactly. Unsettling. Polymorphously unsettling. Taking us back to when the mouth is the first organ of exploration. What do you taste like?

But then, as I watched, the beauty of the tongue, the sensuality of the acting mouth made this... pavement or wall, what was it? Made this wrong object gorgeous. The lips and tongue persuading me that I wanted to lick the surface too, myself. Taste a city. Turn a city on.

That's quite a journey for an artist to have taken me on in the space of about a minute. And it made me laugh too, amused me. I love art that helps me celebrate playfulness. The power of the work to influence me so much in such a short space of time made me want to honour it as a winner. - Dr Josie Pearse

Note: This work will also receive a review from Alexandra Warder.

Very Highly Commended

Forget everything, but don't forget about me by Marie Jacotey

Looking closely at Marie's drawing, the delicacy of the pencil work was the first thing that I noticed. Such gorgeous drawing juxtaposed with heart-wrenching words. I love graphic novels, the indie kind, so the work immediately appealed to me on that level. But the drawing is really special, I feel. The erotic pull is complex in this piece. The woman's pose, her legs spread, of course, yes. But the sentiment? Is it desperation or sex that I smell? I mean it. I think this work evokes smell, evokes body. It's raw on so many levels. - Dr Josie Pearse

Drawing is at the centre of Marie Jacotey's practice. She works quickly, drawing inspiration from the world around her, including from social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. Jacotey captions her postcard-sized images with unrelated slogans such as Forget everything, but don't forget about me to create an evocative narrative for the image to exist within. Using compositional techniques which often isolate the female figure within the picture plane, she alludes to the dynamics of human relationships. Her drawings are at once romantic, melancholy, erotic, humorous and highly illustrative, which makes her work stand out amongst her contemporaries. - Lana Bountakidou

This work will also receive a review from Alexandra Warder

Judges Special Mentions

Girl Having A Dream by Hattie Batten

Looking closely at Hattie Batten's work, I find the questions it asks sit subtly in the the contrasts the artist presents. The delicate pencil drawing of the known woman makes her seem somehow less substantial than the invading Beast who, along with the lamp shining a light on the subject, is textured. The oil pastel gives form and depth to a monstrous invasion now illuminated for us all and yet retains a kind of unformed, Wild-Thing quality in his claws. Batten thereby makes the erotic pull more complex than familiar.

Is this Monster quite grown? In Ingres the lute player, which Batten's monster has replaced, is a slave giving pleasure to a woman kept for pleasure. So, is this monster a slave? Or does the nature of exoticism and slavery invade the subject's dreams? Something lives and makes her whole as she sleeps, whatever she feels about it. The embodied monster in her psyche could be a medieval demon on the page of an illuminated manuscript. - Dr. Josie Pearse

Undone by Lisa Snook

The two works, among others, submitted by Lisa Snook, titled Rabbit (with Meret on my mind) and Undone, illustrate the artist's interest in the subversion of the functionality of everyday objects and prescriptive gender stereotypes. In the sculptural piece Rabbit, the white fur, which covers the vibrator, accentuates the eroticised form of the male member and strengthens the fetishistic qualities of this material while the object itself is stripped of its function. The title of the work references the Swiss artist Meret Oppenheim and his modernist masterpiece Object, an ordinary cup and saucer wrapped in gazelle fur. Both the cup and saucer in Oppenheim's work and the vibrator in Snook's assume a symbolic function. These everyday objects are imbued with a personal or intimate desire, in Snook's case an erotic one. Her other work Undone, a silk Victorian handkerchief with an open zip stitched down its middle, hints at female genitalia, uncomfortably clashing femininity and masculinity through her use of materials. By presenting this work as a relic or artefact, coupled with the artist's fascination with stranger's belongings, Snook resurrects forgotten memories and imbues the objects with her own experiences. These two works deserve a special mention because they present a contemporary perspective on our highly sexualised society, humorously portraying our obsession with sex and sexual orientation. - Lana Bountakidou

Maria, Colombia by lindatroeller

Artist: Linda Troeller will also receive a 'Judges Special Mention' from Alexandra Warder shortly.

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