The human body has always been a source of art and inspiration. From traditional scarification customs to modern tattoos, the idea of the body as a canvas is commonplace. But an even-newer concept takes this notion to avant-garde levels. In artist Jeremy Brown’s “Love is Art” series, he redefines what it means to have a visceral reaction to art.
The concept of the “Love is Art” series is simple: the artist and their partner strip, douse themselves in paint and have sex on a canvas. But delving beyond the surface of this provocative idea, there is deeper meaning. Brown’s inspiration behind the works is the connection between art and love. He states on his website, “Art takes patience, dedication, practice, creativity, open mind and an open heart … so does love. Love is art.” Brown explores the idea that sex and art share fundamental principles, like passion and patience, and tries to convey this in his work. The idea of having sex on canvas is attention-grabbing and challenges one to think about sex as its own art form.
A South African-born abstract artist, Brown has been creating paintings during sex for over a decade. His influence for the idea came from 1960s French artist Yves Klein’s performance pieces, in which the artist used naked bodies covered in paint to transfer the medium onto the canvas. In an interview with Art and Hustle Magazine, Brown stated that his process is about “shattering the perceptions of what defines art.” He also likes that his work is “somewhat indefinable and abstract, yet tells a story and ignites thought.” Brown is currently based in the Old Fourth Ward of Atlanta, Georgia, where he has lived since he was a child. The Westside’s Kai Lin art gallery in Atlanta recently hosted Brown’s first solo exhibit, “Love Marks the Spot,” which includes artwork from his “Love is Art” series.
For those in the public who want to experience this art firsthand, Brown has made it possible. “Love is Art” is now available as a kit for those adventurous enough to try it. The set contains four nontoxic body-compatible paints, a painter’s tarp, and a canvas. The kit is available to the public on Brown’s website, loveisartkit.com, and on Amazon. Prices range anywhere from $60 to $1,000 depending on canvas size and paint color choice, but can be an affordable experience for any couple. This “Love is Art” kit has found enormous commercial success since its debut in 2012. Lady Gaga has recently voiced her support for Brown, but the most prevalent responses are those from everyday people. Brown’s kit creates a new type of intimacy between partners by and through the creation of something deeply personal.
In today’s day and age it is difficult to be on the cutting edge of artistic expression. It seems as if every art form has been developed, taken apart and reconfigured, and thus the cycle repeats. For Brown, he takes this challenge in stride. His ingenuity comes from his passion and it resonates through his work. There is no disillusionment with the world, only a strong sense of love that he wants to communicate through the medium of art.