My first time attending SEAF was amazing. I had read things about past years. I have heard from others about it too. I was excited to be able to attend this year – thanks to Lili for tickets.
Seattle Erotic Arts Festival was started in 2002 as a way to celebrate the erotic. I had heard about it in the past, but never understood what it was fully. What I saw this year was truly a celebration – an amazing one at that. And I get it now.
There was art. Photography, paintings, sculpture, installations – art of every kind – modern to more traditional – explicitly erotic to exposure in a different fashion. There was big art and small art. There was “do not touch art” to “please interact with me” art. And in addition to the art gallery displays, there was music. DJs creating an atmosphere as you wandered the place. There were performances. Women high in the air in silks, to amazing pole dancing, to a couple performing the tango in a small gallery, to a display of head shaving with a straight razor by Twisted Monk in the side show area. There were movies. There were the poets and writers reading and performing their own works. It was truly a celebration of the erotic.
And the people attending just added to the atmosphere. Evening gowns to fetish wear to jeans to club wear. People were expressing themselves freely through their attire. Some came in costume – steam punk or goth or Victorian. Others came like they were attending a formal gallery. The people watching was spectacular. And in some cases more entertaining.
Like with any art exhibit, there was some amazing stuff. And there was some stuff that made you wonder who thought that was a good idea. These boxes scattered throughout the place were supposed to evoke your primitive senses. Most we heard agreed with us – they left us wondering what we missed.
Then there was the pieces that spoke. The huge orange panels with the simple lines of a woman that made me and Domenico keep gravitating back to it. The symmetry of the guy knelt between two women – finger them as they lay on each side of him – a perfectly erotic balance. Or the tangled limbs in a photograph that evoked my own feelings of how that is when you and your partners become this tangle of limbs – not even sure how and what led there, but happy it did. The pony girl photo that left us in awe as we realized it was not a doctored photo but a painting done in oils on canvas. Not our own kink, but the talent could not be ignored.
It was fun to see the photographs or paintings where we knew either the artist or models. I know I celebrated a bit when a Portland photographer had a photo displayed. Or I knew who had posed for it. I suspect that is being part of the community. We all are excited when people succeed.
One of the most powerful pieces of the night was a photography project. An artist who believes people are most vulnerable, not when naked, but when wearing their fears on their body. He photographs people who have written upon them a naked truth, if you will. Reading the huge display of these people – and seeing what people were feeling was inspiring. It evoked emotion that could not be achieved by mere nudity alone.
One of the models in that display is someone I know. I recall how she felt after the shoot. She felt exhausted and vulnerable and shaky. Nudity she can do – but exposing her feelings like that – her fear or anger or whatever – was truly bare in a way she did not expect.
After I read about her experience as model, I had the same thought I had Saturday when seeing the photos – what would be my phrase. I even made that comment to Domenico as we looked at it and took it all in. To see the bravery of each person in those photographs, I could not help but ask myself the same question again. Maybe in another blog post I’ll share my thoughts more.
Overall, I was happy I was able to attend and experience it. Both G and I felt the same way – we want to go back and do it again. I am wondering too if maybe I may want to try to submit something next year. Seeing some of the photography made me realize how far my own photography has come. We’ll see. I have a few ideas anyway. Can’t hurt to try, I figure.
Thank you Lili for the tickets you gave me on my birthday. I am so glad I was able to attend. Thank you for making it possible – and for the time together on the holy quest for outfits. I truly enjoyed the girl time we got on top of it all – even if it yielded nothing. So happy we met and have time together. Soon we can have more.
Thank you Domenico for being a fabulous date. I always have fun with you and enjoy my time with you. I’m glad you are part of my life.
Thank you G for being a great partner in this fun and in life. I love you. Thank you for being part of the journey.