article by Arief Arman
Illustrations by Lamer
Sex is not merely an act, but a force. A force that has driven, and continues to drive people towards both ecstasy and despair, both deeply personal and yet universally understood.
Born in the northwest of Spain in a small village in Galicia, Lamer is a visual artist who expresses her ideas through art, often dealing with notions of sex and sexuality with a level of maturity that is not usually seen in someone her age. She moved to Barcelona to study Graphic Design but made the decision to put a hold on her education so as to focus on her passion; eroticism. She wanted hands-on work and realised that being in front of the laptop for hours on end was not doing her favours at all. She decided to join a painting class and since then has been expressing herself on canvasses in her studio as well as on the streets of Barcelona. To add, Lamer believes that it is important to express one’s own feelings as self-expression can alleviate the mental well-being of an individual. Lamer is not talented in the traditional sense, but the number of eyeballs on her artwork has been steadily increasing through her sheer passion for eroticism. Over the years, this artist has found herself by means of a deep exploration into the realm of eroticism, painting what she sees, feels, and thinks about when it comes to sex and sexuality.
“I guess sex for me, it’s just the purest and most brutal way to interact with one another, I just talk about it as I talk about everything else… I feel there is a need to talk about variety and reality in sex and that is how I started to get more involved in erotic art, a few years ago.”
For Lamer, this ‘brutal way to interact with one another’ is not implying a violent form of communication, rather it is the point to which two (or more) individuals find themselves in complete surrender to one another, connecting in mind and spirit by means of engaging with the corporeal body. Through her art, she wants to move away from the taboo that is attached to sex and sexuality, and to bring about a sense of sensuality that has been detached from both terms, especially for women. In the modern world, no one has time for symbolism and allusion, it is underrated. However Lamer believes that the application of symbolism and use of allusion in art are imperative in reaching out to the subconscious of the people around her.
It is to no great surprise that the statement ‘sex sells’ is not an unfamiliar expression. Our collective consciousness has often been bombarded with images of scantily clad women in advertisements, on billboards, and in mainstream media. Arguably, the commodification of bodies (especially women) is a nefarious expansion of modern day capitalism. It is far removed from the understanding that human beings have their own agency when it comes to matters of their own physical body. Today, women are often portrayed to be submissive and timid, where and when their own sexual exploration is suppressed, leaving them limited in their own potentialities as beings of touch and sensation. For Lamer, we should move away from the status quo and realise that sex and sexuality should be discussed, with the label ‘taboo’ removed from it. Her artwork is that outlet for discussion, the bridge to which people reconnect with their sexual volition. Lamer explains that it is okay for her to be labeled ‘too much’ for her artwork.
“It felt as well for me, if you were open to talking about sex as a woman, drawing about masturbation or showing the nude as a natural thing, you instantly become ‘too much’. So I just chose to become ‘too much’, I guess.”
It is not erroneous to say that common notions of when sex ‘ends’ (in a heterosexual relationship) is when the man ejaculates and ‘gets off’ as opposed to the women reaching climax. This is very much linked to ideas that are attached to pornography, often glorifying the male orgasm and is very much drawing upon ‘phallic narcissism’, a concept brought forth by the polarising Austrian psychoanalyst, Sigmund Freud. This should be done away with and as Lamer adds, “I realise maybe I am more specific when I paint those scenes but that is only because I try to show them as how they really are, unlike mainstream porn.”
She adds, “I just hate how silly and taboo sex is still considered nowadays, and because of that, how fake and normative they show it to us. I felt as well that the role of women in sexual terms (like in many other terms) in our society, is (forced to be) simply disgusting.” When asked if discussions on sex and sexuality should be brought to the table in mainstream media, Lamer points out, “In most form of media you can see us as objects, pure sources of pleasure, as if we’ve got to be perfect and we are just there to satisfy men. Eroticism is everywhere in mainstream media, but usually just for the male audience and in a super wrong way: all of the girls are white, thin, shaved, cis-gender, heterosexual, no body marks, only young, etc. It’s just too fake and super negative for our society.” It is definitely time to move away from such a way of thinking.
Of Shunga and Inspirational Figures
Lamer has been expressing her ideas through art for about six years now, and draws inspiration from a number of talented artists, including Alice Bloomfield, Broken Fingaz, Danny Fox, Daissy Paris, and Stevie Dix. Her principal reference in the erotic arts is the Japanese movement called ‘Shunga’. The literal translation of ‘Shunga’ is ‘spring pictures’; erotic artistic tradition that emerged from early modern Japan where graphic images of sexual activity are appreciated rather than eschewed. Produced in the thousands during the Edo period (1600 – 1868), ‘Shunga’ proved to be visual platform that is without shame, where sexual gratification, female sexuality, and homosexuality are not only acknowledged but encouraged. Tim Clark, a curator at the British Museum in ‘Shunga: Sex and Pleasure in Japanese Art’, points out,
“At its best, Shunga celebrates the pleasures of lovemaking, its beautiful pictures that present mutual attraction and sexual desire as natural and unaffected.”
At its most fundamental, Lamer contends that nudity is natural. It should be celebrated and embraced, not dismissed and negated. Nudity is not lewd, and an appreciation of sex and sexuality is an appreciation of the human condition.
Lamer currently runs an erotic art magazine called ¡PAM! She is also working in independent spaces in Barcelona and hopes to collaborate with art galleries across Spain. In the near future, she looks to work with other galleries in Europe and beyond. She also hopes to earn some money for her work so that she could finance her travel costs in gathering new ideas and shaping new thought processes from around the globe. Lamer’s artwork is also uploaded on her Instagram page; https://www.instagram.com/lamerisaround/ and she could be reached at [email protected] for networking opportunities.
Mula Zine would like to thank Lamer for her time and is appreciative of her effort in creating a society that does not shy away from engaging with issues of sex and sexuality. We would like to wish her all the best in all future undertakings.