It felt a bit disjointed strolling through the walkway between McCaw Hall and the Exhibition Hall this past weekend; on one side were elegantly dressed men and women preparing to enjoy a performance from the Seattle Opera, and on the other was the crowd attending the Seattle Erotic Art Festival, which has for just more than 10 years been providing a home for sex-positive art in Seattle.
See the full set of photos from the Seattle Erotic Art Festival. Most slideshow images are safe for work, but be aware of occasional nudity.
The two events seemed, on the face, worlds apart, and yet I found in the temporary halls of SEAF the same kind of creative, open-minded, beautiful, surprising performances and displays that are the provence of all great art. There were just more dirty pictures and bondage gear than there might have been at the Opera.
I enjoyed roaming much of the erotic frontier, accepting whatever came to me without judgement and without preconception. I did laugh and, at times, roll my eyes at what felt like particularly sophomoric works; some of the art work felt pretty ridiculous. And, yet, more often, I felt enlightened by what I saw, and challenged on a level that artwork rarely reaches for me. It was a kind of beauty I didn't expect, but welcomed.