Ilya Gotfryd

Agent’s Bias: buying art (sex appeal)

Posted by Ilya Gotfryd on 7 October 2008 (Tuesday) Under Agent's bias, Images, Subliminal

In this installment of “buying art” I am looking at a very basic attraction to a work of art. I am performing a dissection in attempt to analyze this particular force in visual art acquisition. While enjoying a work of art from the “sex appeal” category you might point out a great choice of color, an originality of a pose or a facial expression. There will always be polite remarks about some sort of details in the remaining background or wonderful details in the shading of the draping cloth. Some of you would be as honest as to state that an image is risque. I guess only the last admission will actually describe the basic reason for an attraction – it is after all sex appeal. An artwork can make it acceptable to have a nude in plain sight without raising questions of impropriety.

Polina Zaitseva – Body Series
Polina Zaitseva – Body Series ©, 2008

To the left we see a prime example of “sex appeal”. An exposed curve of human body catches your eye. This image carries very simple significance, it’s sexy. It does help greatly that the image is a worth while composition with an attractive character. That the fleeting moment looks so precious and that the framing of the image makes it look almost voyeuristic. It is filled with textured media and symbols of hidden significance. In a way the symbols might even give you a sensation that this is a start up guide. The kind of paper with few basic instructions that comes with your newly acquired gadget. Oh, the implications of these arrows – handle with care, this side up. This work takes you right to the destination of its purpose – sex appeal.

Polina Zaitseva – Closet
Polina Zaitseva – Closet ©, 2008

This next work has a flavor of exhibitionism to it. The darkness in it is of “the secrets of the high society” flavor rather then a touch of goth. The choice of camera included in the shot and the cloth of the characters garment add to the certain lighting quality of classy gentleman’s magazine pages. A mix of vintage in the soft tones of the room disappearing in the depth of field and the sharp modern look of the synthetic clothes and subject’s physique. Yet the basics of the shot remain the same, it is after all sex appeal.

There is however much more to the sex appeal then forms, textures and skin tones. It can go much deeper then cloth covering the nude body and the bone, muscles and fat tissue that that shapes it. A lot of sex appeal can be drawn from subtleties of chracter’s actions. Throw in the surrounding atmosphere and you can read a lot from an artwork at times without even knowing it.

Anastasiy Safari – Armenia Series
Anastasiy Safari – Armenia Series

It is interesting that the following image is made by the man on the left just as much as it is made by the woman to the center right. By the look of the eclectic surroundings he is not dressed for the occasion. The variable redness of his skin however indicates that he is actively partaking in the festivities. Yes he is mildly intoxicated, by the wine and the atmosphere. You can see it in the eagerness of his clapping as well. He is, however so mesmerized by the woman in front of him his entire head and neck is perfectly still and turned towards her. Moving on to the centerpiece; You can read so much drama in her that you would have hard time finding a place to start the description. We can tell that she is dancing for him, because her shoulders and even hips are clearly turned towards him, however the movement of the hands and the turn of the head try to hide these signs in the pattern of the dance. The mixed smile could be compared in complexity even to Giaconda. It has desire for happiness and signs of uncertainty and possibly even a hint of disappointment in these reoccurring feelings. This mix of emotions, desires and disappointment touches observer through paths other then logic. These signs of action short circuit the brain and take you right to the core sensation of sex appeal.


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26 Responses to “Agent’s Bias: buying art (sex appeal)”

  1. Crank Says:

    Девушка-загадка, Полина Зайцева, а почему не видно Вашего лица на первых двух фото? Непонятно, что автор хотел этими работами сказать. В любой фотографии еще важно выражение лица, а тут непонятные тени какие-то и ничего не видно. На любителя. Если хорошо покрутить - будет порнография, а не искусство

  2. Anastasiy Safari Says:

    Я уверен, что Полина Зайцева сможет и сама ответить.
    Но все-таки добавлю от себя. Во-первых не ясна грань между порнографией и искусством. Что Вы считаете порнографией? В данных работах есть легкий намек на эротику, причем, настолько воздушный, что о порнографии мысль, лично у меня, в голову даже не закрадывается. Не знаю, откуда эта мысль взялась у Вас ;)

    И Илья очень глубоко описал эти две работы - мне даже нечего добавить. Сила обеих работ в имперсонификации, грубо говоря - так действительно получается загадочнее (как Вы подметили) и еще интереснее.

    И, зачем искать выражение лиц в фотографии, если смысл совсем не в этом? Работы и так цепляют взгляд, не так ли? :)

  3. M0lt Says:

    Wow!! Such hotties! >8-{} The atmosphere on the second is nice and colorz are gr8t on the third! I love ‘em all.
    Ilya, what makes u think the “sex appeal” 8O is A reason for buying?
    Would you hang these ones on your livingroom wall??

  4. Alla Says:

    Все очень красиво )))) И девушки тоже )))) Порнографии не видно, видно работу художников!!!! Ilya Gotfryd, спасибо, интересно почитать ))))

  5. Vektor Says:

    Красивые девушки, безусловно, но мало понимания о “покупке”. Я не понимаю, зачем я должен вообще что-то покупать из приведенного. Описанно все замечательно, но покупать зачем? Небось это все стОит у вас также, как мерс последней модели.

  6. Ilya Gotfryd Says:

    M0lt: I got a silly direct answer for you regarding “sex appeal” as a reason. Because I know so. Let me qualify myself. Early in my pursuit of fine art I was salivating over a modern classical artwork of a nude female in front of a piano. It was an oil priced at $3,000 I had no such money to pay for art, but I wanted it. I can tell you for sure that sex appeal played enormous role in my choosing. I was drawn to image’s sincerity. The girl looked like she was changing out of her festive clothes and got caught in this image while trying to figure out some tune on the keyboard. I should have taken a freaking loan and bought it.

  7. Ilya Gotfryd Says:

    Vektor:You have an amusingly direct question. “Why do I have to buy these images?” You in fact have sort of indirectly described the purpose of this post. This post is not a direct sale, but an explanation of a concept that drives a sale. I used these images as an illustration. As for PolinaZ prices I can tell you they are quite at New York level and are being sold pretty well. This Safari’s work is new and has not been riced.

  8. Ilya Gotfryd Says:

    Alla: I am happy to be of service. I hope to retain my ability to grab your attention going forward.

  9. Vektor Says:

    Ну вот, я и говорю, как мерс. Но мой вопрос был не об этом.
    Перефразирую - зачем мне вообще покупать что-то из работ каких-то, произвольно взятых авторов, если на них изображена ваша “сексапильность”? Очень хорошо - цвет, композиция, боке - я возьму вот эту картинку и положу себе на десктоп, а покупать зачем?

  10. Andres Safari Says:

    Как персонаж из третьего кадра), хочу высказать восхищение описанием сцены, эмоций и чувств. Сомневаюсь, что Илья мог знать ситуацию изнутри, но ему удалось практически полностью раскрыть глубину данного кадра, а фотографу выловить нужный момент, который бы смог передать зрителю происходящее.
    To Vektor: с такой логикой зачем вообще что-то покупать, когда можно найти “что-то” на халяву в гугле и повесить на десктоп…%)

  11. Jerusha Michael Says:

    The third image really kept my attention! For me, even more enticing than sex appeal is the story I can read in an image. I have always been a sucker for a good story… For that reason, I almost enjoyed reading what you saw in the images a little more than the image itself! In the third image, to add to your observations I also see the interaction between 2 cultures. Maybe a tourist. What I had failed to see was “the hint of disappointment”. But when you see it, it is hard to miss. Hard to turn away from. Hard to ignore. Hard to keep it from haunting me with a story.

  12. Ilya Gotfryd Says:

    Jerusha, great to see you here. There is an apparent element of cultural face off. I am not sure if this is a part of an actual story, but being an art work in its own right that face off might as well be considered a reality.

  13. Ilya Gotfryd Says:

    Andres: As a personage in the third image I solute you. I knew of you and of your close relationship with the artist, so I was careful not to trivialize any of what was happening in the image. I have to admit, I was going through Anastasiy’s work for this post and I started salivating once I saw this particular image. This kind of complex desire is perfect for both visual capture and verbal dissection. Thank you for being the subject and tolerating our voyeuristic probing. Not that we exactly asked you for permission, but still.

  14. Andres Safari Says:

    Илья, ничего страшного, мне было даже это любопятно. У вас очень интересные мысли проскальзывают, несколько провацирующие на споры, но открывающие иной взгляд на простые вещи. Чуть позже я выскажу и свои, как продюсер, о продаже искусства…

  15. Jonny Says:

    Разумеется между картинкой на десктопе и картиной на стене разница колоссальная. Но Vector поднял очень интересный вопрос, который, как мне кажется заслуживает отдельного поста. Илья, расскажите нам, из каких соображений назначается цена на ту или иную картину? Что такое “они весьма на уровне Нью-Йорка и весьма хорошо продаются”?
    И кто является покупателем?
    Одно дело, когда чья-нибудь знакомая говорит, что продает свои фотки в голом виде, хочешь купить? А другое, когда люди сами приходят и говорят “ДАЙ! Я это ХОЧУ!”

    У меня, как человека далекого от мира искусства, есть внутреннее ощущение, что цена картины определяется только успешностью работы агента по ее раскрутке. И не имеет никакого отношения к тому что и как на ней изображено. Поэтому вы и делаете основной акцент на качестве предпечатной подготовки.

  16. DedSamets Says:

    You write that nudity is way to success!!!!
    It is not: !!!!

    This girl, who is dressed

    Looks more more sexually, than this one:

    multilanguage comment has been split in two by admin

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  18. Ilya Gotfryd Says:

    DedSamets: I was not particularly making that comparison. You are absolute right, as odd as it is the lady that has more clothes in your example does appear more desirable. The fact that she look less trashy might also help. However, I am also not certain if it is the amount of clothes on those women or the actual artistic approach to the shot. I think that the second model could have been a subject of a more appealing picture just the way she is if it was done by a better photographer and not for purely pornographic reasons.

  19. Ilya Gotfryd Says:

    Jonny!!! Always glad to hear your input. You are forcing my hand to write a substantive piece regarding the pricing of an artwork. Thank you. It is time to put a little bit of pragmatism, science and business sense into this blog and I will make this my next big task. I will also collect some input from creative people with in my circle. There are many different approaches to the price and in fact it might make for decent series with different contributors.

  20. Jonny Says:

    Ну как я могу заставить Вас что-то написать в этом блоге :-)))
    Себестоимость произведения - это стоимость расходных материалов + немого денег автору на жизнь :-)))
    Гораздо более интересно из каких соображений получается рыночная цена произведения. Если его уже раньше кто-то покупал, то наверно это старая цена, помноженная в разы. А как быть с определением цены продаваемого в первый раз?

  21. M0lt Says:

    I dig your response, Ilya! :O Pics of hot girls are always hot oh boy ;) But how many do u think will hang that type of pics on their wallz?? You see hot girlies and stuff 8D :D :-P

  22. Ilya Gotfryd Says:

    Jonny: Now you did it… The new post about initial pricing of the images is coming up in a near future. Once I read your response I had to comment and it turned out into enough material for a post. Hold your breath, it’s about to show up.

  23. Ilya Gotfryd Says:

    M0lt: Just to reiterate we are “blog full of photography” not pornography :). On that note as I have stated the best you can do with the examples you have shown is to display them in a calendar on a bathroom wall. The kind of nudity I am talking about is “veiled”. I put it in double quotes because I am not talking about exposure of body parts, I am talking about the context of the image. Fine Art nudes tend to transcend the simple nakedness of their body. Look at the first image in the post and my description of it. You could imagine that the visual is quite literally sexual, however it has potential guidance in it. A set of hidden desires and instructions that are beyond the sheer nakedness. Granted the first image probably should not make it farther then a bedroom as far as propriety, but it is more then just a hot chick with a cute smile.


  24. Esther Says:

    M0lt: Here is a woman’s opinion…. It is absolutely a known fact that a dressed chic is more desirable sexually simply due to the imagination factor. In the second picture everything is already seen and there is no room for thought… The angels of the pictures are important as well, sideways is more curious than forward facing. Again I keep drilling my thinking that it all depends on the buyer and the reason for the desire. If the buyer needs something sexy now, the second picture would do. If the buyer wants the luxury of fantasizing, then the first choice is obvious. The best of two worlds is when both the first and second pictures are combined with an artist that works on great angle, amount of clothes (or lack thereof) and the scenery all around.

  25. M0lt Says:

    It’s ok, peopl )))) I like hotties and I have many, many of them on my wall. People are people and men are men, reallyy 8)

  26. olg-brusnikina Says:

    насчет первой работы соглашусь со всем…очень интересно! даже мой женский взгляд зацепился…

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