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Exhibition: homemade erotic art at the Kinsey Institute

Private Eyes: Selected Artwork from the Kinsey Institute Collection is an informative and at times highly amusing exhibition of unique, homemade erotic artefacts archived by Dr. Alfred Charles Kinsey, the controversial biologist and researcher. Kinsey is regarded as the father of the sexual revolution, and has influenced social and cultural values worldwide.

The show features drawings, paintings and sculptures that portray the behind-closed-doors desires of anonymous individuals during one of the most conservative eras in American history. This is the first time these eye-opening and wholly personal artworks have been put on public display.

In the late 1930s and ’40s Dr. Kinsey caused controversy by collecting thousands of individual testimonies about sexual experiences and fantasies. It has also been reported that he took things further, including the observation and participation in performed sex acts. His ultimate objective: to broaden the scope of knowledge regarding sexual identity, proclivity and convention. Within three years of starting the project, Kinsey had compiled over 2,000 case histories, and by 1947 had founded the Institute for Sex Research in Indiana.

When Kinsey decided to create an archive of objects relating to sexuality, donations flew in from all over the world. The pieces in Private Eyes: Selected Artwork from the Kinsey Institute Collection come from the Kinsey Institute’s collection of over 100,000 items.

The exhibition is a predominantly tame – though nonetheless intriguing – look at archival erotica, featuring such things as a naively rendered triptych of drawings showing a man undergoing transvestite transformation. However there are moments when things get remarkably hot, such as a diagram titled A Guide to the Administration of a Cane, which illustrates the areas of maximum erotic effectiveness when caning a woman’s naked ass. There are also a few images on display that are shocking even by today’s standards – such as a rudimentary pencil drawing of a man who thinks he’s having sex with a woman atop a donkey, when he’s actually penetrating the beast.

Private Eyes is on view at Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art in Chicago until October 2. Find out more at http://www.art.org

 

About the author:

UK-based artist Billy Chainsaw specializes in mixed-media pop art and has exhibited in numerous galleries in such far-flung locations as London and Los Angeles. Learn more about his work at www.koolkrakenincorporated.com

Members Comments (2)

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Kat_Vaughn1 6 months ago

Wow! This is really fascinating! This research reminds me of this show they used to air on Showtime called "Master of Sex". Can you imagine how risky it was back then to do those types or experiments? Thanks to people like Dr. Kinsey, the phenomena of the orgasm isn't such a mystery anymore. Thank you for sharing! :)

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Rose 6 months ago

Interesting stuff from our resident art expert Billy Chainsaw! Check out his interview with British latex artist Michelle Mildenhall on the blog at The Life Erotic too.

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    _fer_realz_ 17 minutes ago

    He got off in her, his jizz is dripping out of her as they kiss just before they go to the shower.

    on Better Morning
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    _fer_realz_ 19 minutes ago

    I'm "favoriting" this film and giving it my 10 because Linda Sweet is a personal favorite of mine and her chemistry with Maximilian is so ... well, sweet. (:

    But this climbing up on all kinds of furniture and objects that real people would never have sex on just to avoid the monotony of always showing sex in the same places thing is approaching absurdity when you have both Linda and Maximilian climb up on the bathroom vanity to finish off.

    It makes total sense for the story to have them start in the bathroom ~ but to finish off on a rickety, hard, uncomfortable vanity is just absurd. I can think of a zillion places I'd want to have sex and a bathroom vanity just ain't one. And I'm pretty darn certain my girlfriend would agree with me, even though she's even more kinky than I am.

    So they should have started out in the bathroom, retreated to somewhere comfortable that real people would have real sex at to finish up ~ and then ended up in the shower.

    The final shower footage BTW was quite cute and romantic and totally in place.

    An otherwise nice film with an improbable ~ and very uncomfortable (for both actors) looking ~ place for the main portion of sex.

    on Better Morning
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    Rose 3 hours ago

    Lucy is gorgeous, and brings a lot of energy to her scenes. Cute story! Who wouldn't like to warm their hands on her beautiful breasts? :-)

    on Let Me In
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    Geo1 4 hours ago

    Little late to the game here...but Agreed Timea Bella is utterly captivating in this scene. She is just so fresh and adorable and natural in her response, and a total babe as well.
    Not going to say anything about Matt here, just a little jealous of guy with a job like his...although he does it well...

    on Imagine
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    Mimi17 6 hours ago

    Yummo..!

    on Encara