Sex, taboos and scandals: three shocking exhibitions you need to see

whitechapel gallery sarah lucas exhibition situation
‘Nice Tits’ – Sarah Lucas

Gallery and museum visits are a great way to get the family together for some quality time, but not with this line-up!

From cheeky photos to disturbingly taboo images, these three art exhibitions are stirring up debates across the London art scene right now.

1 . Shunga

Now – 5 January 2014
British Museum
£5 – £7

Calling all anime fans, manga junkies, erotic art collectors, tattoo enthusiasts and voyeurs in general- this one’s for you!

Carrying the tagline ‘sex and pleasure in Japanese art’, this exhibition showcases 300 years worth of prints, paintings and drawings. Shunga – which translates literally as ‘spring pictures’- manages to be tender and erotic at the same time.

It forms its own category of erotic art, with precision and loads of hidden details that add emotive complexities to the pieces. It might have been produced centuries ago on ancient scrolls, but some of these scenes portray scenarios that are still seen as taboo today.

2. Home Truths

Now- 5 January 2014
The Photographer’s Gallery
Free admission

You might have heard about the guy who photographed his mother having sex. His name is Leigh Ledare and he’s not alone when it comes to mother-child relationships that are- a bit out there. ‘Home Truths: Photography, Motherhood and Identity’ features the work of Ledare and seven other contemporary artists.

The exhibition on display at Soho’s Photographer’s Gallery aims to explore these relationships, with bold pictures that show a more unseen side of this intimate bond.

These mums get up close and personal, with Spanish born photographer Ana Casas Broda showing images that tell the story of how motherhood has reshaped her identity. Broda, like the other participating artists, juxtaposes nudity and children in shots to stimulate intrigue and discomfort. And in some cases, it’s downright awkward.

3 . SITUATION Absolute Beach Man Rubble

Now – 15 December 2013
Whitechapel Gallery
Free admission

From the woman who brought us ‘Chicken Knickers’ comes another solo exhibition that’s fuelled with sexual symbolism. British artist Sarah Lucas packs Whitechapel Gallery with installations that retell all the fuzzy memories from your worst hangover: ripped tights, dirty mattresses and a dreaded toilet.

Inspired in part by British tabloids’ historically salacious tendencies, Lucas unveils pieces with names like ‘Nice Tits’; featuring a striking assembly of tights, fluff, wire mesh frame and concrete boots. She taps into human sexuality in a strange way- to say the least- but she definitely sends the message. We’re just not always sure what it means.

So whatever your guilty pleasures are, there’s something to titillate you this weekend. Go on; see what all the fuss is about.

*This article has also been published on Westminster News Online.

*Image courtesy  of Whitechapel Gallery

 

 

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