Who Needs To Go To A Museum? (When You Can Just Go Over To Billie's House Instead?)
How do you feel about sexual or erotic art? I have some paintings that I love where women’s breasts are shown? Is that “appropriate” when I have my kids friends coming over for playdates? It’s all very artistic.
I would say it first depends on the context and who and what the subject is- it’s a touchy-feely thing. For example, if I said “person suggestively opening their coat,” you might get the image "Marilyn Monroe slinking off a white fur coat." On the other hand, you might also think "old pervert in a dirty raincoat flashing rush-hour commuters." Context and subject. "Topless woman in sarong" could be Gaugin, National Geographic, or Penthouse. Context and subject.
The second consideration I have is for the reference you made to your “kid’s friends.” How old are these kids? Who are their parents? How far to the cutting edge of sexual progressiveness is your family’s values and how might those values align, or not, with the friends’ families? I’m not suggesting you present a Puritan facade in order to bamboozle more friends for your kid, but it’s probably a good idea not to scare off potential playmates by having the parents doing drop-off see nothing but tits when you greet them at the front door. Give your kid’s social life a chance and keep the Mapplethorpes in the privacy of your…
Which brings me to my last consideration: the delineation in a home between private and public spaces, also known as “boundaries.” This affects art placement. Sexual or erotic art is meant to be provocative. To present the human body in a pose, in a frame, on a pedestal is to make it something to be looked at and admired. It is designed to draw attention, and not necessarily act as a backdrop or scene to get lost in, say, like a pastoral landscape or an abstract painting. When your guests are sipping their soup, do you think they would be more comfortable and less distracted while looking at a nipple or a sunset? You know your guests, I don’t. They may be a revolutionary group of free-love nudists, for all I know. If you are on the fence figuring out your stuff vs. your audience, maybe this will help.
It’s easy to categorize objects, furniture, clothing and activities as either “public” or “private.”
Public: club chair, dining table, maritime painting, brandy & cigars, doormat, coatrack, vest, hat, trousers, having dinner, gardening, vacuuming
Private: bed, vision boards, shoe storage, Rogaine application, medication storage, pooping, Q-Tip usage, sexual activity
I’m seeing a pattern, are you? Things associated with more private body parts tend to be shrouded in a bit more modesty. A realistic depiction of a body part is intended to elicit some sort of provocation- that’s the art of it- it’s the revealing of nakedness. That’s what erotic art is: raw and provocative. That doesn’t make raw and provocative anything less than beautiful, but if you want your kids’ friends preoccupied with their Legos and not what’s between their legs, and their parents feeling secure that your casa is not one of ill repute, then maybe keep the artful hooters in the private parts of your home.
Aubrey Thorne is an interior designer, feng shui consultant, and astrologer in Los Angeles. She works with clients all over, both in-person and online. Feel free to contact Aubrey to ask a question or to schedule a consultation.