Where to draw the line between Art and pornography

Art is a reflection of the current society and that statement has been true for centuries. It is said the beauty of the art is in the eyes of the observer. They also say you recognize porn when you see it.

In this article, we will try to define that fine balance between art and porn from the perspective of a common man.

Art is as old as human civilization. Some believe art is probably older than human languages because the first caveman drew pictures to express himself before he spoke.

The Renaissance period is filled with artwork is lush with details of the erotica of the day. While we do not know if it was created with the intent of being erotica, or just a representation of the life in the day of a Renaissance man, today, it passes for art.

Erotica, or as we now call it, free porn also has a very long history. The oldest erotica is dated 1070 BCE and is preserved in the Turin Museum.

There are several temples in India that have depictions of extremely sexual scenes on the pillar. Would that be considered as art or porn?

There is one simple test suggested by the experts to figure out what is art and what is porn.

Whether the test works for all forms of art and porn is a question that is still to be answered.

The test is simple. Look at the art in question and ask yourself, does it cause a sexual arousal in you?

 And next question to ask is, does it create sexual arousal in other people?

 If it does not arouse you, the piece of art is just that. But in case it arouses you, check it see if it arouses others too. This part is important because some men get aroused by the simplest of things. So it is crucial to look for a consensus or at least a majority opinion in the group to classify an art piece as porn.

A lot of porn tries to pass itself as art because art has an appreciating value. But it is very rare for art to try to pass off as porn. So, there will always be a classification bias against porn.

 In the United States, Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart said: “I know it when I see” and handed the definition of porn. The court was ruling on a French art picture ‘The Lovers.’ Although the movie itself is nothing compared to the free movies you get to watch on sites like Brazzers today, the judgement gives a clear legal precedence to decide if a material is porn or not.

 Another viewpoint is that Pornography is typically explicit while art does not use explicit imagery. And in most cases, pornography has a single aim, sexual arousal. But art always strives to have a multi-dimensional appeal. Different viewers see a piece of art in different ways. But porn has only one view and thus easy to draw the line.