FIRENZE, Italy—As any long-time viewer (or reviewer) of adult movies is well aware, there are few places that Sturgeon's Law—"90 percent of everything is crud"—is more applicable than porn... and at that, "90 percent" is probably understated. So we're always overjoyed when a company releases a movie that transcends the genre and may actually be described as "art." Movies like Andrew Blake's Les Femmes Erotique and Pin-Ups 1 & 2; Michael Ninn's Latex, Dark Garden and Catherine; Philip Mond's Zazel and Insexts; Paul Thomas' Bobby Sox and Fade To Black; Brad Armstrong's Fallen; Joone's Pirates—the list, if there were one, would actually be of moderate length and distinguished.
Art has reared its pretty head in other adult genres as well. Candida Royalle's "Natural Contours" vibrators were a thing of beauty; Matt McMullen's RealDolls have been accepted as art by the mainstream world; and in past years at adult expos, we've seen sculptors who've tried their hand at depicting women in sexual ecstasy.
Which brings us to Pornsaints.
The Pornsaints website describes itself as "the art side of porn and the porn side of art. It is an artistic approach to porn, a pornographic approach to art, a pornoartistic approach to religion. Artworks are based upon the idea that porn stars may be 'sanctified' by their performances."
Founded in 2007 by artist Francesco D'Isa, the site serves as a collection point for artwork—paintings, lithographs, photo manipulation, etchings, multimedia works—of and about porn stars. The gallery on the site has artistic renderings of such popular adult industry figures as Kimberly Kane, Dana Vespoli, Chennin Blanc, Aurora Snow, Charlotte Stokely and many more—and now, for the first time, D'Isa has published a limited edition (1,000 copies) catalog featuring several of the artworks that were on exhibit in art gallleries in Italy and Switzerland.
The catalog features depictions of 19 porn stars, including such well-known names as Justine Joli, Priya Rai, Stoya, Caroline Pierce, Syd Blakovich, Renee Pornero and April Flores together with several lesser-known (at least in the U.S.) European stars like Hollis Ireland, Miss Panic and Nicotine. Each star forms the central image (usually) of a painting that tries to show the performer's inner self through the artist's eyes, and some are strikingly gorgeous.
The catalog is available from the Pornsaints.org website for 5 Euros or US$6, and in our view, well worth the price.