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Kaethe Butcher: Make Love, Art

A Parallel Planets piece by Jofer Serapio
There is but a fine line between art and pornography. Most people find it extremely hard to differentiate these two, especially when female breasts are involved. It doesn't help that there exists pornography featuring the otherwise private act of intimacy as an artful rendition of two bodies colliding and uniting under a celebration of visual enlightenment and classical music. So, should that fine line even exist?


One of my old professors once quipped, "It's art if it stimulates the mind and the soul; it's pornography if it only stimulates your nether regions." The key word there, I suppose, is "only." Art ranges across everything while pornography has a limited attraction, though both can be erotic. Art, after all, has an outstanding relationship with human emotion, which includes sexual arousal.

Kaethe Butcher's art features a lot of breasts and a few vaginas here and there, but it is in no way simplistic pornography. Her work with female sexuality is all-encompassing: she chronicles both the beauty and the tragedy of the female body. The human form is already an artwork in itself, but Kaethe does a great job of emphasizing the stories found in every nook and cranny of illustrated flesh, furthering the limits of an established universal masterpiece.

If you think sex—the act, not the category—plays an important role in Kaethe's art, you'd be dead wrong. It does play a role, but not THAT important of a role. If anything, Kaethe wants to show that sex, as well as nudity, is nothing special. It could be special, but without any sort of story and emotional investment, it becomes just a display of skin on skin. For sex to be special, Kaethe believes there needs to be more of a soul on soul interaction, a depth to all that sweat and moaning and desire. For this writer, that sounds like a callback to the old adage: "make love, not sex."



At 24, Kaethe is a German illustrator well on her way to Art Nouveau greatness. Kaethe's provocative illustrations meshes the complexity of her thematic pursuits with her striking sensuality and captivating style, representing well-balanced erotica that is definitely hard to look away from. Lady Gaga would be proud.

For more of Kaethe Butcher's phenomenal exploration of the female gender, visit her Tumblr, which hosts a bunch of other interviews and features. You may also follow her on Twitter and like her page on Facebook.

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