Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Cross Stitch Porn

Thank you for sharing my disgust with the way the media covers cross-stitch. It's a little tiresome, but it's good to know you are with me! Because I've got more...you knew?

(Warning clicking leads to) Cross-stitch Porn. I'm not using the term loosely as in "food porn." No, I am using it literally. (For those of you who sometimes say your head, "like, literally exploded." I am using literally correctly here to mean "actually or exactly; in a literal manner.") I'd illustrate this post with a picture, but I'll tell you not safe for work. You will be happy to know that cross-stitch here knows no grannies, but it is usually used to "depict cats, flowers, and country homesteads." Seriously? Are these the only two paths we can take? Cats, flowers, and country homesteads or anal sex, blowjobs, and nudity? Oh, you know if it's not one thing it's another!

It is so simple for us to elevate ourselves from craft to Art...

The artist, Leah Emery, does say some interesting things about the juxtaposition of cross-stitch and let me just re-emphasize hard core porn:
As the works are entirely pixelated at close inspection, if you're focusing on the colours, substance and craftsmanship of the work initially it can be difficult to determine the content of the image. Once you take a few steps back the image sheds its ambiguity and becomes clear enough to render the craftsmanship void. 
What I thought at first was, why would you spend so much time stitching these pieces, when it takes 15 minutes to write a porn script and another hour more to make a whole movie?

But she addresses that:
Pitting together the two themes—laborious and beautiful domestic handiwork and the cheap and easy world of the sexually explicit —allows each viewer to respond to the work in their own way, depending on how the ensuing chaos grips them.
But I'm not sure I'd let her get away with that for an answer. It starts out so promising, then devolves.  (Sometimes I think my training as a critic unfits me for listening to what artists say about their art. Maybe that works for you. Sometimes it really is just me.)

Is it art? We've seen this around, so it's not unique. Does it get to be art because it is in a gallery? Because she's trained as an artist? Because she thinks she is elevating the craft by not stitching cats, flowers, and country homesteads? Now there's an idea cross stitched country homesteads where the cats have sex. If I make some sort of bestiality joke here, have I gone too far?


Would this be the wrong time to welcome all my new followers? I do appreciate you being here, even if this isn't quite what you thought you signed up for! Cheers.

14 comments:

Thoeria said...

Oh my.....Now *this* was a first for me. I can honestly not see myself spending months stitching what a digital camera would take a second to copy. Should I just be broad minded here and say "To each his/her own"??

Miss Quoted said...

I think it's interesting to take something that a lot of people see as "grandmotherly" and really shaking it up, but I think "porn" is just to obvious of a choice, and frankly a little boring. "Hey I will take this 'tradional' art and do something naughty with naked peiople." That will be SHOCKING!

Is it art? I can't really say that what someone else creates isn't art,I certainly know that there was a lot of time and work involved, but it's not for me.

Raychill Canuck said...

I was having some similar thoughts this morning as I came across this blog entry - http://www.craftster.org/blog/mr-x-stitch-presents-the-cutting-stitching-edge-%E2%80%93-rachel-bernstein/

The craftmanship is good, the rhetoric is intriguing, but is it art?

It appears to me, if I want to use my craftmanship more traditionally I am a "granny" (I'm in my late 30's). If I use my craftmanship to shock/horrify it's art. Is this the lens that media is viewing this?

As a tangent - I've always hated the whole "Not your grandma's..." knitting/crochet. I want to develop these skills because of my grandmas and the work they have done in the past.

Mary in TN said...

And how, pray tell, did you come across this article???

I will stay a granny. I find other subjects more beautiful than naked people performing sex acts.

God, do I sound old and straitlaced!

Christine said...

Oh dear, I think the emperor may be naked...

Daffycat said...

I think I'm somewhat miffed they didn't show the "before" photographs. How can we tell if this is "art" if we can't see the "before"?

Maybe she got caught with all that porn on her work email and was forced to come up with an excuse on the spot???

Seriously? I hope she at least went to school so she has a degree as proof of her artistic abilities.

And, I hope you checked your stats before you posted this. I'm pretty sure you are going to get quite a few oddball visits.

Silverlotus said...

I get all the arguments for Art and the right to express oneself, but this just makes me say Meh. I don't think pornography is art (or Art) no matter what form it is presented in or what it is supposed to mean. Really, it is just a big Meh to me. I'll stick with my cats and country homesteads (not that that is what I actually stitch).


(We have a special way of saying it around here. Actually, we have three ways of saying Art, and only one means something that is actually nice to look at.)

Michele said...

For me, it would not be something that I would want to proudly display on my living room wall as children roam around my house. Even without the children...hardcore porn is not something I find artistic. It is purely sexual, it is meant to be a stimulant for sexual purposes. Porn is art. (Even though some of those positions take plenty of talent...nope...still not art.)

Michele said...

Correction: ...porn is NOT art.

Deb said...

Hmmmm is about all I can say. Although I wonder if she ever participates in the porn that she's stitching or if she has to live vicariously through it?

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

I daren't even launch that link as this is a shared computer and sometimes things cross over to the other logins!
I also agree with Mary - how did you find this LOL.
The whole art vs porn debate is very interesting, the whole art vs craft is also interesting. I see alot of cross stitch designs in mags which have very little artistic merit (IMO) and alot of cross stitch works of art which have little craft merit (painting by number type thing).
I follow Mr XStitch and alot of the things he showcases are just an excuse to have a rude word, they're not well-crafted or artistic. Other stuff is brilliant, depends on the artist.
I also like Daffycat's comment about justifying have porn at work, how many men have used the "I was researching a book" excuse LOL.

dulcinella said...

some people should use terms the right way. Art? I've seen a lot of art in my life, and this stitching sure doesn't belong there. And comparing to all of us, grannies:-), won't make art of it either. Oh well, everyone does what he needs to do. But I think I'm going to stick with the bunnies and so..And I'm sure glad I can read blogs with HAED's updates end Lizzie Kate's progressing instead of porn cross stitch updates:-)

doris said...

It takes all kinds, doesn't it? Creating stitched porn isn't how I'll ever choose to use my discretionary time. Very interesting and provoking topic!

Yekaterina Haussler said...

Although I am probably a bit late with my comment, here it is.. Pornography is not art, or Art, because Art is about self-expression without humiliation. Erotica is art. I saw a cross stitch once called "Labor of Love" - it was an erotic piece that, for me, was very romantic. I thought I could make something like this for my husband one day (and display it strictly in our bedroom)... Anyway, any form of expression that humiliates and dehumanizes the participants is not art... As for cross stitch - it is a craft, but it can a medium of art - and Art, too. Just look at the designs of Nimue, or HAED, or (insert your favorite designer here) - of course it's art! Thank you for posting this.