Ask Morgana 147: Hope Gangloff

What is my rationale for including Hope Gangloff in my catalogue of erotic artists? Again, here’s the debate: do I include someone who, out of her large portfolio, has done a handful of portraits of her friends less-than-fully-dressed? I answer like this: people are sexy, people are sexual, people are erotic if you like.

Hope Gangloff’s artistic endeavour is in honest, postcard-sized depictions of her friends. Not necessarily realistic, but largely visually and certainly emotionally honest. To me, her work recalls that of Egon Schiele, but without the need for distortion; not because she is not expressing something as deeply and as clearly as Schiele did, but because there seems no need for it. So what’s erotic about the following selection? Sometimes I just have to say “Dunno – but it’s there!”

I am particularly drawn to examples (3) and (5) below, to the intimacy of a telephone conversation. There is abandonment to the moment in the pose of each subject, but each is different. (3) is almost luxuriating in the pleasure of her conversation, (5) is saying “Oh yeah? Well f*ck you!”, and Gangloff is almost occupying the station of a voyeuse. I think that’s where the eroticism lies, if anywhere. As you must have worked out by now, this series of posts takes in the whole sliding scale from explicit to subtle, and even diverts off that sliding scale from time to time.

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Images reproduced under ‘fair use’ provisions.

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