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A Brief Survey of X-Rated Art [NSFW]

The words “art whore” get thrown a lot these days… Surely, there are reasons why artists tread the line between visual art and pornography and between performance art and sex work other than to titillate, provoke and anger the public. Chinese artist Cheng Li was recently sentenced to a labor camp for performing such risque acts — and under a repressive political regime to boot! In light of this risktaker and in tribute of all those controversy-makers that create out of our most carnal acts — or try to — let’s survey some specimens of this art trend. Make your own conclusions. Oh, and this one is most definitely not for sensitive types.

Let’s get warmed up with reigning performance art diva Marina Abramović herself. Her performances and re-performances have often involved nudity, but her 1976 Role Exchange was an actual X-rated act of art, or so some photos like to suggest. To celebrate her 10 years as a professional artist she exchanged roles with a woman who had worked for 10 years as professional sex worker. The woman took Abramović’s place at her art opening. For four hours, they took on full responsibilities of each other’s professions.

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