ASC Fall 2019: The world Erotic Art by Abigael Derlise

Erotic Art is Not Porn

STUDENT BIO

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STUDENT BIO

Abigael J. Derlise is a senior majoring in International Business with a certificate in International Trade and Investment at Florida International University. After graduation, she plans on pursuing a career in supply chain and operation. She will be the first one in her family to graduate college. She loves adventure, traveling, reading, and dancing. She is also very passionate about helping children, especial the orphans because she believes that they are the future. Her long-term goal is to build schools and orphanages in third world counties. 

GEOGRAPHY

View of the WEAM, photo by Abigael

The World Erotic Art Museum (WEAM) is located on Washington Avenue and 12th Street on the second floor of the Wilzig building, and there is a Starbucks on the first floor. On Washington Avenue, around the museum, there are a few night clubs and few restaurants. The wolf museum is one block north from the WEAM. The WEAM is at a five minutes’ walk from the beach makes it very accessible to the public. People can explore the museum after hanging out on the beach or before clubbing at night. The Weam is well situated; consider tourist flight from all over to visit South Beach.

HISTORY

The World Erotic Art Museum, located on Washington and 12th street, in Miami, was founded by Naomi Wilzig in 2005 after her son, Ivan Wilzig, started decorating his apartment with erotic art. Naomi Wilzig, who was the widow of Siggi Wilzig, a holocaust survivor, was originally a fine antique collector who knew nothing of erotic art. Seeing the potential for the art genre, she spent 15 years traveling the world searching high and low for the pieces that would make up the greatest erotic art collection. Her travels took Wilzig to many countries in Asia, Europe, Africa, and beyond and led to many discoveries. Her discoveries included but were not limited to fertility amulets in Greece and Egypt to a 25 pound naturally occurring geode in Brazil that is shaped as penis, to the shunga books which are written prints of sexual acts that were rumored to have been used for instructional materials for newlywed nobles in the 17th to 19th centuries. Wilzig faced a considerable uphill battle to find a suitable location to showcase her collection. Many cities from St. Petersburg to other cities did not greenlight the creation of the museum stating that it was too similar to adult entertainment. The main reasoning for the thought of adult entertainment stems from the extreme amount of puritanical beliefs within our country. Erotic art and depictions are considered to be extremely rescued and inappropriate by many, especially when seen outside of the privacy of one’s dwelling. As a result of the U.S.’s religious views, the World Erotic Art Museum (WEAM) is the only major collection of erotic art outside of the Erotic Heritage Museum in Las Vegas. Willig did not allow that to define her work as Miami opened to be accepting of her work. The Washington area is a great place for the WEAM as it hosts a large nightlife scene attracting a more open crowd of people.

MISSION
This mission of WEAM is simple; it is “We collect, preserve and present works of erotic art of the highest quality from diverse cultures. We embrace our responsibility to engage and educate our community, to contribute to cultural knowledge and erotic art history.”. The purpose of the museum is not only to collect works of erotic art, but to also educate the community on the history and future of erotic works as well as why it is important to have erotic works of art. With today’s society lacking the knowledge and accepting the culture, the need of WEAM promoting and teaching the history and importance of erotic art is an important step towards a future where more museums and locations can showcase erotic art.

 ACCESS

Entrance


The WEAM is located inside of the WILZIG Museum building. The admission desk is on the first floor in the lobby. The only to get to the museum is through the elevator, which is 100 feet from the front desk. Only those 18 years or over are allowed in the museum. There are no special discounts for students, military, seniors, and residents at the WEAM. The museum does not have a membership program. The museum has monthly special events to give free access to the public. General Admission – $20

There is a combination ticket rate to encourage more people to visit the George Daniel Museum.

Combination Ticket – $25

Combination Ticket for Students, Military, Seniors (+60) – $18

COLLECTION
The WEAM has different artist from all over the world in a collection. Some of the most important collections are The Realism, The P and P, and Native North America.

The WEAM has different artists from all over the world in a collection. Some of the most important collections are Realism, The P and P, and Native North America. 

The Realism collection has T Watson – American Artist – bronze polychromed sculpture c. 2000 and Franz Dietz– oil on canvas. 

Franz Dietz, the artist, paints women entangled with one another in a vertical pillar-like structure. The pile of bodies seems disorganized and unintentional, however within the chaos is order. Each woman is vital in maintaining the integrity of the structure.

T Watson sculptures depict a central theme: self exploration and sensual femininity. Masturbation often has a negative stigma attached to the act in western cultures. This artists creates liberty in self expression through these sculptures. 

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T watson- bronze polychromed sculpture, Franz Dietz- oil on canvas c.1950


 P and P Collection consist of unknown artists.

Vagina wall- imagine entering a home and seeing this work hanging on someone’s wall. There is something definitely remarkable about it: firstly, the shape of the piece is not on the usual square or rectangle canvas. It’s in the oblong shape of the vulva. The wall depicts the true uniqueness of a woman’s genitalia. Each one looks blatantly different from the other, which adds an air of personification and relatability.

Wall of Vaginas- Unknown artist
Wall of vaginas- unknown artist,

Gold sparkly- the artist intertwines ‘glitz n’ glam’ with smut. This figure is bedazzled with jewels that make it look quite expensive. It’s a paradox that challenges the mind, and it’s conditioning to social norms.

Display case of dildos- Looking at this display case of dildos is almost like window shopping for shoes or jewelry at a mall. The case has a plethora of varieties ranging from a dildo-banana to a mug with a penis as the spout. The setup of these sex toys and trinkets normalizes the exhibition of inanimate sex objects.

Native North America

African Indigenous figurines- the ultimate display of male fertility is shown via these wood carvings. They seem to have the same origin (even though some sculptures were found in central/South America while others were found in Africa) because more than half of the figures had exaggerated genitalia often extending to the ground. These male figurines are the counterparts to the well-known Venus Figurines dating to the Neolithic era, whose robust features represent female fertility and vitality. 

African Sculptures- Unknown artist
Native African- unknown artist


EXHIBITIONS

 Currently, all the exhibitions at the World Erotic Art Museum are permanent.  

SPECIAL EVENTS 

The World Erotic Art Museum has several informational events from how to talk to your kids about porn to how to lick a vagina. 

Sketchy Nudes: is a monthly event where students from different drawing levels come to WEAM for a figure drawing class with a live nude model. Students usually receive critics from a well-known artist. 

Yoga for better sex: is a yoga class taught by sexologist and yoga instructor Sonjia Kenya. The class combines aspects of yoga strategies to provide a secure place for learners to connect to their inner sensual self. 

Tea & sex is a monthly event where people come together for a roundtable discussion to explore a variety of topics related to human sexuality. 

VISITOR

In-person interview with a first-time visitor named Shania at the WEAM 

Q1 “What made you visit the World Erotic Art today?”

I came to the museum to explore more outside of what my parents told. Growing up, sex was not hidden from me, unlike other people. I know a lot of parents do not talk to their kids about sex. 

Q2 “What is your favorite piece?”

I like Chinese Art because it looks like a cradle to a temple. 

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Japanese art- unknown artist

Q3 “Do you remember anything you read from the labels?”

I was trying to memorize the wooden sculptures of African Art, but most of the artist’s names and origins were unknown. 

Q4 “What comments do you have on the museum?”

I like it, and I am glad that I came. There are a lot of pieces from different places, and I have never seen a sexual art from an African tribe. I like the layout because it’s not too confusing. One thing I don’t like is that the museum didn’t provide enough information. Anything they could have provided should have been provided. It would be nice to know where certain arts came from. 

Q5 “How would you describe the most memorable part of your visit today?”

I walked in and the shock of seeing everything. I know it’s an erotic museum, and I was expecting to see them — the shock and slowly getting used to being comfortable in the museum. 

Q6 “If you could describe the collections in one word, what would it be? 

I would say notable, but that is not enough to describe them. The collections are unforgettable and remarkable. They will definitely be engraved in my memory. 

PORTRAIT

 In-person interview with the WEAM manager Geovanny.

Q1 “What inspired you to manage the museum?”

I knew the collector; I grew up with her, and I understand the significance of her collection. To open a museum like this, one requires the right person, second the financial means to do it. Having those two combines is a lifetime opportunity. In another word, she’s my inspiration. 

Q2 “What do you like most about working here?”

The diversity of the people who come to visit from all over the world. 

Q3 “What does the museum represent to you?”

What it means to mean, I understand the significance of her collection, and I want to change the public outlook on erotic art. I don’t think there’s a definitive line between erotism and porn. A good example is in Europe, a woman being topless is not a big thing, but also you can see a commercial with topless people and here in the U.S. is different. I don’t understand why, but I know it has a lot to do with the church. 

Q4 “As a manager, what is your goal for the WEAM?”

There is no authority to differentiate art and porn. Our goal is to be the authority; the FCC can come to us for guidelines on porn and erotic art. We also want to educate the public so they can know that this museum is all about art and not porn. 

SUMMARY

When walking into the World Erotic Art Museum, one can find itself in either an awkward position or a shocking moment. Awkward since some believe that erotic art is pornography, and the arts at the WEAM are very explicit so they could easily be categorized as porn. I enjoyed walking through the museum, seeing art from different times and countries. I could have enjoyed it more if there was more information on the artist or the art itself. It was hard to find someone to help with questions; the staffs are not accessible. I like their events because they are very informational, and they are helping us change our perception of erotic art, sex, and porn. 

Citations

https://www.weammuseum.com/

ASC Service Project 2019 by Abigael Derlise

Pinecrest Garden entrance, photo by Abigael

I love being out in a garden, connecting with mother nature. I believe that we need make some serious changes in order to save our planet. I had the chance to contribute to a sustainable project. The service I partook in was at Pinecrest Garden in Miami, Florida.  In December 2002, Pinecrest Garden was purchased by the village of Pinecrest Village.  It’s a beautiful botanical garden on a 14-acre land. It was named Perrot jungle before, and it was founded in 1936 by Franz and Louise Scherr.

The event in which I participated was TROLLS by Thomas Dambo. Thomas is an artist from Denmark; he travels around the globe with his crew to build giant sculptures, from recycled items that become characters in playful stories. His mission is to encourage others to rethink their beliefs about trash. In his stories, he educate others on the importance of sustainability in a playful way. about trash.  

Terje troll, photo by Abigael

I had the opportunity to work alongside the artist, Thomas Dambo. I was tasked to organize the woods by length and shape so it could be more comfortable for the workers to use. I also helped to take apart pallets, cutting the lumber. I had the chance to work with tools and be part of building the trolls. Being able to take part in something that is changing our view of sustainability makes me feel like I am contributing to the future generation.

https://www.pinecrestgardens.org/

Lacey Bray | Educational Program Coordinator

Address: 11000 Red Road Pinecrest, Fl 33156

Art Society Conflict: Abigael Derlise

My name is Abigael Derlise and I’m a junior at Florida International University. I’m majoring in International Business and hope to pursue a career in corporate banking. I took this class because I want step out of my comfort zone and expose myself to something different. Through this course, I hope to learn more and really understand the world of art.

“Your Story” by Abigael Derlise of FIU at Norton Museum

I lived in palm beach county for eight years, and never did I had the chance to visit the Norton Museum of Art. On September 22, 2019, I had the opportunity to explore the Norton Museum of Art with my classmates. The museum is full of amazing paintings from all over the world. Although Norton Museum of Art has a lot of extensive collection, there was just that one piece that felt connected to the most. I felt like the painting was drawing me closer and closer. The painting is disturbing, but the most hauntingly beautiful art I have ever seen. I chose to analyze “Your Story, My Curse” one of Wangechi Mutu’s work because it very convoluted. She made this beautiful piece out of paper, paint, glider, and beads.  

Wangechi Mutu: Your Story, My Curse

What has most drawn me to the painting is the third figure’s head shape and components. It is very complex and can be interpreted differently based on the viewer.  I think the figure is a demon which appears in a human and animal shape. The half-human animal’s head is in the form of a skull and a black man holding a woman legs open. The half-beast lady, which I think is a demon, is a combination of characteristics that society criticizes women. In my opinion, the demon is detaching from the two women with all their baggage. Perhaps what Wangachi Matu is trying to project to the audience is that, what one believes pleasure, identity, and culture to be might be an illusion.

“Forgotten” by Abigael Derlise of FIU at Deering Estate

The Deering Estate used to be the home of Charles Estate. Years, after he died the Estate, was purchased by the State of Florida and now turned into an environmental preserve. That is all I knew of the Deering Estate until my visit.

My experience at the Deering Estate was mind-blowing. Learning about the real history of Miami opened my eyes of how us, human, can wipe out an entire tribe and their history from the earth.  How we can be so selfish and wicked It gave me a different perspective on humanity and Miami.

One of the hikes was to the Tequesta burial mount. That day was the first time in my life that I had ever heard of the Tequesta. The Tequesta tribe, a tribe that is part of Miami history, is completely gone with nothing left behind. At that moment, I started thinking of my “history.” It made me question the story of my ancestors, my past, my life. I cannot even imagine being forgotten, just the thought of it is excruciating. We want to live our footmark behind, even if it means destroying others in the process. We want to believe that we are different. How different are we really when we return to dust? Some find peace under an oak tree   

The Tequesta Burial Mound

Looking at one of the oldest and largest Oak trees in Miami was sentimental. I am at peace now, knowing that the Tequesta story is not all forgotten. A little part them still remain under that 500 hundred years old Oaktree.

“Wynwood as Text” by Abigael Derlise of FIU at The Margulies Collection

Not many people know of the artistic side of Miami. Whenever people hear vacations in Miami, they usually associated with the beautiful beaches and the exciting night clubs. Before I took Art Society Conflict, I was part of that group, and I viewed art differently. I never used to take the time to understand and interpret what the artist is projecting fully. After visiting The Margulies Collection, my perception has changed. Mr. Margulies gave us a tour of his collection and shared his story of why he started collecting. I was surprised when he told us that he didn’t know to paint anything. I thought someone had to be an artist in order to collect and open a gallery.

My favorite exhibition was Kishio Suga. Kisha Suga is a Japanese artist, and he is part of a movement called Mono-ha, which means “school of thing.” The idea behind the move is to take natural and industrial materials such as concrete, wood, and arrange them to make a piece.   He wanted to show the reality of things/material and the situation that keep them together. Anything can be created from his work. After Mr. Margulies explained what Suga’s work means and the story behind it, I was in awe.

We also visited The De la Cruz Collection and we fortunate that Mrs. De La Cruz was there to share her inspiring story with us. It was definitely an unforgettable experience.

“Secret garden” by Abigael Derlise of FIU at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

Vizcaya is one of the best culture experience Miami has to offer. Taking a trip to Vizcaya, it is like taking a trip to old Europe except in modern Miami. The museum was built by a retired millionaire, James Deering, back in 1912.  Although Vizcaya is one of America’s most endangered historic places, not everyone in Miami knows the real story of how the museum was built.

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

Vizcaya has been one of my favorites museums and gardens to visit in Miami, and in the last six months, I have been at least three times. I never knew that there was a secret room in the garden facing the ocean until Professor Bailly mentions it. It made me realized that one can visit a place a million times and still missed out on details if one does not know the real story of the place.

When we walked trough the secret garden, I was draw by the architecture. I love how James wanted to control nature and hired an architect to design it. What I love the most about the secret garden is the story behind it. In the 1900s people in different social class were not allowed to communicate. In Europe, there was a place where social differences did not matter and was in a garden. James brought Europe in Miami; it had a secret garden in villa with benches for couples to sit on while they are loving on each other in the free zone. Vizcaya is the perfect place for an ancient history romance.

Design District as Text” by Abigael Derlise of FIU at the Institute of Contemporary Art


The infinity room. A room where nothing else matters. In the infinity room, only the lights matter.

Visiting the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) was the highlight of this semester. It made me realize how little I know of the art world. Yayoi Kusama is a famous Japanese artist, and people flight across the globe to see her work only to spend one minute in the infinity room. I had no idea of her existence nor her work. I found Kusama to be an extraordinary artist, to take material that we overlook in our daily lives and create something so magical, so complex yet so simple is incredible. Standing inside of the cube felt like I was on another planet, and for one minute, I forgot about every single issue I have in my life. I was free, nothing else mattered. Her work “, All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins,” made feel so small, yet so powerful. Kusama removed herself from society by checking in a mental institution. I believe that her state of mind inspires her art, and she is allowing others to experience her freedom but only for a moment. She finds peace in her work, and that is the only way she can express herself. 

After visiting the “Infinity Room,” we explored ICA, and we saw some vast collection of contemporary art. Sterling Ruby is a contemporary artist, and his works are conceptual by nature, which means the concept is more important than the physical work. Sterling creates art with no meaning and lets the audience interpret it; however they desire. His work also makes induvial question social constraint. How we interpret art reflects our belief, we want it to represent something, to represent ourselves.

“Art as Text” by Abigael Derlise of FIU at Art Basel Fair

Art as Text “Basel”

Every year people come from all over the world to participate in the fair. It all started in Basel, Switzerland 1970 by a trio of Swiss gallerists. They wanted to represent their artists and bring collectors and curators from all over the globe. What they envisioned turned out to be the beginning of an international fair.

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Our class at Untitled Art Fair, photo by Abigael

In December 2002, Miami was selected as an ideal second destination for Art Basel. Every year during the fair, people from all over the globe, artists, gallerists, art collectors gather during the week of the fair to purchase, collect the world’s best contemporary arts. Some people, like myself, go to admire the artworks.

From both Untitled Art and Art Context fair, we saw contemporary art from Ghana to Israel, and we were able to understand the artists’ works. At that moment, I realized that art is influential, and one can communicate with others fully with language barriers.

Untitled Art primarily first-hand market, galleries sells only the artist works. On the other hand, Art Context had both first-hand and second-hand markets. One exhibition I found myself drawn to the most at Art Context was the “Freedom Project” Mira Maylor.

“Freedom Project” Mira Maylor, photo by Abigael

She’s an artist from Israel, and we had the chance to hear the meaning behind her project. A fragile cage that society locks itself in from freedom. We get so comfortable in our prison (life) that we are not aware of our prison.  Even though our freedom is one natural break away because we are so frightened of the unknown, it keeps us locked in the cage. Mira project made me rethink the meaning of freedom in our society.

Reference

https://www.miamiandbeaches.com/events/art-basel/history-of-art-basel-miami-beach