As a rule, we tend to think that artists, like the general public, are a diverse group. And as a rule, we're right. But like the general public, artists also have a great deal in common as well. It's endlessly debatable where we have more IN common than we do "OUT" of common so I won't go there. But let me touch a moment on some of the things artist nearly always share in common. First, we like to make things. It's probably THE most common trait amongst those who would claim the name of artist. Second, we like to show off what we've made, whether it's a song, a poem, a painting, or a pavilion. Third, we endeavor to learn from both experiences. And fourth, in so doing, we try to please ourselves and others, though not necessarily in that order. There are probably other less important items we could talk about that all artists have in common such as failing eyesight as we get older, fear of rejection, poor marketing skills, as well as a marked tendency toward laziness, procrastination, and inefficiency. But the big four I mentioned are by far the MOST common.

There is one other very important thing artists have in common that is almost never talked about from an artistic standpoint, and that is sexuality. It is, of course, a common human trait, but in the case of the artist, inasmuch as so much of what that artist MAKES is often drawn from deep within his or her psyche where sexuality resides, it becomes important because almost without exception, the artist, at some point, and with varying degrees of frequency, has let it flow out through his or her work. Of course, sometimes and with some artists it LEAKS rather than FLOWS, while in other cases it SPURTS, even GUSHES. Nonetheless, the result is what we euphemistically call "erotic" art and NOT so euphemistically call "dirty pictures." From cave painters to abstractionists, all artists have produced such art. Probably most of it we destroy (eventually at least). However, since (as mentioned above) artists like to show off what they make, in a surprising number of cases, it becomes part of an artist's life's work--Picasso, Renoir, Manet, Michelangelo, Titian, O'Keefe, Rembrandt, and others come to mind.

Now, since every artist's sexuality differs somewhat, that which can be deemed erotic also differs (often quite widely). Likewise, erotica is measured by moral standards which also vary from artist to artist and (as we saw with Lohmuller) culture to culture. From a moral standpoint, a Picasso line drawing of a copulating couple we might deem pornographic, but by the same token, we might NOT see it as being at all erotic. Erotica, like beauty, lies in the eye of the beholder. Thus the erotic art an artist produces is very often his or her most PERSONAL art. It's a reflection of one element (but only one) of who that person is. And in most cases (and with varying degrees of success) we very modestly try to conceal it. And when it's NOT concealed we form value judgments that, unlike most art, have not one but TWO elements--social and aesthetic criteria. If its aesthetic values outweigh the social, cultural, and moral standards imposed upon it, then we deem it to be art. If not, we consign it to pornography. It's a harsh system, and one legal, art, and moral critics have tangled unsuccessfully with since art began.