Note: as the title of this piece – and the gallery – should reveal, the art on display at Heartsong Erotica Galleries is of an erotica / adult nature, in places featuring nudity. As such, the images at the gallery and in this article should be treated as NSFW.
Heartsong Erotica Galleries is a venture new to me, and which I believe has only recently opened. Operated by Luanamae Heartsong, it is located on a sky platform and offers four gallery spaces built around an open square displaying 3D art, all of which is defined by the description four galleries dedicated to elegant and sensual erotic art.
Erotica in art is not new, and certainly not exclusive to Second Life; however, it is a subject which can draw looks of distaste among some and / or be considered antithetical to Second Life. Yet while the terms “erotica” and “erotic” are most commonly used to define subject matter intended to be found sexually stimulating, it doesn’t necessarily mean either nudity or sexual acts. Just take John William Godward’s The Old, Old, Story (1903) as an example; both characters within it are fully clothed, but the manner in which the woman teases the man through the simple act of dropping flower petals as she regards him was, for the time at which it was painted, charged with eroticism.
And herein lies another truth; as Honoré de Balzac once noted: eroticism is dependent not just upon an individual’s sexual morality, but also the culture and time in which an individual resides; as such it is not only – as the hoary old quote about beauty goes – in the eye of the beholder, it is also fluid and changing with time. And it is this latter point which is ably demonstrated within the collections of images offered at Hertsong Erotica Galleries for the current (as of late January 2023) exhibition.
Within the four galleries are collections by Dante Helios (Gallery One), Tatiana Easterwood (Gallery Two), Emeline Laks (Gallery Three) and Kitten (Joaannna Resident). (Gallery 4). Each offers a different perspective on erotica in art (although there are some overlaps here and there – notably between the images presented by Tatiana Easterwood and Emeline Laks).
Within Kitten’s pieces (some of which have been previously offered through her 2022 Noir exhibition within the Annex of Nitroglobus Roof Gallery (see: A Kitten’s Noir world in Second Life), there is neither nudity nor overt sexuality. What there is, however, is a subtle shading of sensuality imparted in several ways: the classic noir style within several of the images through their use of greyscale to evoke a cinematic era where eroticism and sensuality were more more obliquely referenced (ibncluding through the use of smoking, something also seen in these images); the suggestions of vulnerability through pose and the use of a veil, etc. Thus, within these pieces is a sense of erotica of times past.
Tatiana and Emeline, by contrast, offer what might be considered “erotica of times present”, many of their pieces offering as they do sensual depictions of sexual acts between adult avatars (not that art depicting sexual acts ins confined to modern times – by which I loosely mean post WW II onwards; rather that the public exhibiting of art depicting sexual acts is more broadly tolerated in the west than had been the case during the early 20th century and before).
Within Gallery One, Dante presents images which (for the most part) might be said to reflect another lasting element of erotica: the fetish of clothing and footwear, particularly when applied to the female form. However, it is also perhaps the more discomforting of the four exhibitions, given the manner in which some of the pieces in the left and centre sections of the gallery might be seen as leaning into themes of puberty and sexuality; in this, I admit to finding these latter images personally disquieting.
Overall, with the exhibits rounded-out by 3D pieces produced by Pit Banx and Phenix Rexen within the square linking the four galleries, Heartsong Erotica Galleries is an interesting new venture for the display of art of a more erotic nature within Second Life.
- Heartsong Erotica Galleries (Cira, rated Adult)