Friday, January 25, 2013

Art v. Pornography: An Excerpt from My Book

Actor James Franco had this to say at the Sundance Film Festival: “They [pornographers] are looking for ways, just as we are when we make a fictional feature film, to be find the next level...There are a lot of videos they do that are not that far from the things that certain performance artists have done...It’s just next to art — it’s just that their frame is one of pornography.”
As a former porn actor, I can testify that what he is saying is not true. I feel somewhat qualified to make this judgment, as I have a graduate degree in Art History. I delve into the question of art v. pornography to a greater degree in my book. Here is a brief excerpt:
As Michelangelo proved, all great art references the past, but then moves onward. Pornography descends from caricature: pottery statues of crude satyrs, phallus charms, and the explicit drawings of sexual positions on the walls of the Roman baths. The doomed Romantic poet John Keats wrote, “A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: Its loveliness increases; it will never/Pass into nothingness...” All the ancient porn which has survived the eons is now a mere curiosity. Art lives on. It can inspire, but if untempered by the Spirit, may become taken over by darker forces that only wish to degrade the majestic. Years after returning to the Lord, I stood under the figure of Jonah in the Sistine Chapel; the masterpiece the artist almost killed himself to complete. Like the Biblical hero, I contorted my neck and turned upward. My mouth agape as I marveled at all of the exquisitely painted nude male flesh. Michelangelo created the perfect mortal form that truly reflected the Creator. We only see the beauty. Lust issues from hell, not heaven.


  1. Dear Brother Joseph,

    I am so jealous you got to see the Sistine Chapel! I got to see real and fake Rembrandts with my sister at the NC Museum of Art in Raleigh. This was a once in a lifetime trip and I ended up disappointed. Two of his works made up for the trip, but I was expecting more because the showing was advertised as the largest collection of Rembrandts to be in one location in North America.

    * * *
    Your observation about porn being caricature reminded that the AVN gives out an award for best title. I read this year's list on the gawker site. Clever people.

    * * *
    As for James Franco, there is something about him I do not like. I know he got caught in a scandal of some sort at NYU film school. I want to point out that porn star Lorelei Lee earned a Master's degree from that school and cowrote the mainstream film About Cherry. Two guesses what the plot is.

    James Franco appears in two films pertaining to the porn industry. I think he cowrote one of them. He has stated in interviews that he went to The Armory in San Francisco and got to talk with the people and observe their performances. If the internet gossip is to be believed he did more than watch.

    Mr. Franco is also an actor on a soap opera. Soaps are turning into soft core porn to keep viewers.

    I do watch Days of Our Lives. The plot with the gay coyple is pretty good. You could tell the two actors were uncomfortable with their kissing scenes. Then one of them got a daytime emmy award, paychecks went up and now those young men are flaming on my tv screen. I need a check like that, I might set your tv screen on fire!

    Well, soft core porn gets an R rating nowadays. It won't be long until real sex is standard in film. Just watch Monster's Ball. T. W.

  2. You are absolutely right about James Franco, Joseph. For someone to actually say that pornography is the same as art, shows to me how much their capacity for critical thinking has been completely destroyed by what must be their own addiction and love of pornography. Perception is a subjective thing. But for this actor make this claim publicly, shows me how far gone he is with his perversions. And I'm afraid that he's not alone any more in thinking this way; more and more people regard porn as the same as art these days. God help us all! Love and Blessings, S.O.