Art vs Pornography: ft.Guy Le Baube

Where do we define the line between pornography, and nude art? What is deemed socially acceptable to walk amidst in the open floors of a gallery, homing a temporary pool of thousands in a day… to something that our inner prude shudders at? You tell me. I think it’s to do with upbringing.

For me, I was raised in a home by parents with a rich cultural upbringing, intense artistic flair and a penchant for the nude form. From Helmut Newton photography, to bronze busts of sensuous women; coral and sepia etchings of reclining soft female bodies and innocent cherubim. The nude body to me is an art form - and never anything less.

I entice you in to become acquainted with Guy Le Baube. With precision and mature wit, Guy Le Baube focuses his camera on the female form, capturing an aura of allure and sensuosity.

His work has been celebrated and proclaimed in multiple leading fashion publications such as Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, and Elle - and it was in the early 1990s that he began pursuing his own work, focusing strictly on the female nude.

His first series from this period, called “Behind the Scene,” offers intimate portraits of his leggy models - which to me is a defined nod in the direction fo the greats such as Newton, Horst, Avedon, Cartier-Bresson and Mapplethorpe. Many of his photographs evoke a surrealist touch to them… flirtatiously throwing artful shadows to the scene; issuing doubled images; highlighting eroticism and accentuating pride of the body. Le Baube approaches his work with a sense of playfulness and an awareness of the darker side of fashion also… which is probably why I am so allured by him. Give me anything sexy with a dash of obscurity, and I’m going to like it. Tough, the darkness to which he brings light to is a serious topic… the objectification of women.

He refers to this in his “Readymade” series, which encompasses a compilation oversized photographs of female types, all packed into crates with those all too familiar mini foam pieces, ready to be sent wherever and for whatever commercial purpose. The images are humorous, but with a dark undertone, which speaks loudly on the discrimination women face even today regarding their freedom within sexuality and sensuality.

And so, we’ve gone full circle now. What IS the difference between the erotic and the “frowned upon”? Eroticism, in short, is seen as an artful expression of sexuality... it is considered “vanilla,” nonviolent, and evoking of female sensuality. Pornography, on the other hand, seems to correlate sexuality with some form of aggression and/or imbalance of male–female power relationships... which Baube never did. Hats off to the artistic men on the photographic past present and future who will eternalise women’s figures and forms in an art of fashion and respect - and above all else: sexual LIBERTY.


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©2019 by Lait Mylk