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“Erotic Art” Show Takes On Muslim Taboos

Meanwhile, in another corner of the Muslim world we have this, via France’s AFP:

Beirut erotic art seeks to shatter Arab taboos

by Salim Yassine Sun Apr 29

BEIRUT (AFP) – Two women painters in Lebanon are pushing the boundaries with a new exhibition called “Erotika,” in which their depictions of female sexuality have sparked mixed reactions.

Using vivid colours, the pair are showing images of fetishism, homosexuality and even masturbation in a Beirut art show they hope will help to break taboos in the usually conservative Arab world.

Artists Nayla Karam and Maria Sarkis are displaying their Warhol-like pop art in a joint exhibition at a gallery in the Lebanese capital’s northern Christian suburbs.

In “Auto-eroticism” for example, Sarkis presents a sensual depiction in green and pink of a woman who may be masturbating, a hand under her panties.

In yet brighter colours but smooth lines, another painting called “The Mirror” shows a close encounter between the faces and breasts of two apparent lesbians.

“I’ve been working on the theme of eroticism for a year. The ‘morally correct’ is a relative question which changes with time,” Sarkis told AFP…

Another painting by Sarkis called “Submission” portrays the face of a woman wearing a black harness. “Sado-masochism” shows a torso with coloured stripes.

“Our paintings are not pornographic — this is modern art. Sexuality and fantasies are part of reality. Why hide them?” Sarkis asked…

In “Drained,” a naked woman presses her thighs against her chest and her forehead against her knees, resting after sexual intercourse.

“Second journey” shows a double image of the body of a woman, in an apparent reference to multiple orgasms.

“We do not want to shock people. We allow our inspiration to guide us. One of our greatest pleasures is to see the different reactions of people, depending on their own fantasies,” Karam said…

The exhibition has triggered conflicting reactions among visitors…

The artists would have been killed if they lived in an Islamic neighbourhood,” he said.

Abdallad Dadur, owner of the “Surface” gallery that is staging the exhibition, said he was “proud of these young people who are expressing themselves without any complexes.

“Once more, the Lebanese are at the forefront of moral freedoms in the Arab world.”

It will be interesting to see what happens to these “artists” if when the holy worthies of Hezbollah takes over.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, April 30th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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