Georgina Adam explores the issue of sexually explicit art in the Financial Times. Dealers will tell you that graphic art gets a lot of press attention and gallery traffic. However, when it comes time to actually buy the work–and display it in a home-based collection–all sorts of quandaries arise:
Such art is generally kept in the private areas of the collector’s house, but when an artist becomes generally accepted, the work may move into public areas – whatever the content. “It depends on the consensus of what constitutes good taste,” says Daniella Luxembourg, noting that when she started selling Egon Schiele works – which can be extremely graphic – they were usually kept in the bedroom, but with the growth of his reputation were displayed more openly.
Is there any difference between male and female buyers, I ask Richard Nagy, whose Egon Schiele Women show (May 10-June 30) in London will include an “Eros” with a huge erection. “Curiously, women are more upfront in discussing a graphic work; men don’t like to be seen to be looking at an explicit work,” he says.
But Luxembourg says she sells more to men (and there are more male than female collectors). In her Koons show, all four available works have found buyers – at prices from $1.5m-$3m – including a couple, a married and an unmarried man. Berlin’s Caprice Horn says there are also national differences, with French, Dutch and German buyers being less squeamish than other nationalities.
The Hard Sell (Financial Times)