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 innovative...to 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.