Erotic art has sometimes been a tricky category in the history of art and often been side-lined as a ‘subsection’ of art. Which is interesting, because a lot of art - from Greek to Roman, through to Leonardo and Michaelangelo) throughout art history could easily be defined as gay-erotic. The earliest art speculatively gay-erotic is cave-paintings found on cave walls, depicting shamanistic rituals with a distinctly homoerotic flavour.
Despite being often hidden in plain site throughout the history of classical art, specifically gay art has been put in categories or "boxes" outside of the mainstream. But considering some of the greatest artists throughout history are or were (or were certainly thought to be) gay, it feels strange to define this as something else other than, well, just art.
The good news is that this art form is now more mainstream than ever before with gay, straight bi-sexual or queer artists creating great, high quality pieces that really make a statement.
Leading gay and erotic artists
On the ArtGallery.co.uk site, we have a wide range of gay erotic art from some of the most prominent artists in this space and who are also some of our best-selling artists.
Carmen Tyrrell has been selling her art on ArtGallery for many years and her work very much focuses on passion. Her use of acrylic paint on paper creates a sense of movement and a feeling of being ‘in the moment’. Her figurative art often features nude bodies - gay and straight in sensual, passionate clinches and embraces.
Capturing landmark moments at the beginning or early stages of relationships is explored to great effect by Alexandra Grashion-Crowley. Her works capture the imagination and has the unique ability to appeal to a range of audiences and sexualities.
Donka Nucheva Ellectra creates highly charged paintings that have created quite a following in the erotic art market. She paints her subjects in quite a realistic style. She boldly and unashamedly draws out the more sexualised element in her subjects.
Throughout art history, there are paintings or sculptures that have become iconic erotic images. Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci’s works in particular.
Michelangelo’s David is perhaps the most iconic example of erotic art in the Renaissance tradition. It’s not clear whether the artist was gay (and in the historical context of the 1500s does that word even have a meaning that we can map onto our modern understanding of it?. We can confidently say he thoroughly explored his sexuality in his work. There's no doubt effect of seeing the 17ft tall David for the first time (it's at the Galleria dell'Accademia gallery in Florence, Italy) is utterly breathtaking.
There are also artists who are heavily influenced by defining art movements and styles, such as Andrew Alan Johnson, who’s figurative work is very much in a fauvist or early cubist format. He plays with light colour to bring out a more sensual element to his work.
Whatever your favourite style, theme or medium of art, we have something for all tastes on our site. Over the years, Erotic art has emerged as an extremely popular style and continues to be a best-selling form.
Once a secret and hidden style, it is now out there, making a statement, creating a stir and getting people talking. Why not take a look at what’s out there for you on Art Gallery.