In the beginning, all was darkness. Before light was created, eroticism and perversion, those twin souls that need each other to exist, were born. Although they reside in separate places, one completes the other, awaiting the call to confront or play. When that moment arrives, the two merge into a unique dance of pleasure.
Eroticism can be defined as the ability to have sexual enjoyment. It can also be an attitude towards life that involves opening the senses to feelings that provoke well-being, pleasure, and vital experiences that can be shared as a couple or with oneself.
Perversion or lust is an alteration of eroticism. What is a pure and natural act is effected by dark thoughts that do not conform to the socially established norms about sexuality. Perversion is often seen as a negative demeanor; however, everyone has felt the need to experience pleasure by breaking with ordinary expectations.
Those who censor lust usually ignore the amazing variety of paths in life and are blinded by prejudice and boring thoughts. People who harbor these opinions are often adults who crush eroticism and lust after many years of misunderstanding their own desires. On the other hand, modern youth seeks pleasure and happiness in new different ways.
Despite some adults’ denial of teenage happiness, there are millions of people around the world freely enjoying their sexuality. They don’t mind being labeled as promiscuous, or other absurd adjectives; they feel grateful for fulfilling their sexual need and climbing a step on Maslow’s pyramid.
What is Maslow's Pyramid? Psychologist and American anthropologist Abraham Maslow developed a pyramid in which he described the path to happiness based on human being’s desires. Physiological needs can be found in the lower levels, while self-realization is on the top. To climb to the highest point, you have to attain each step; otherwise, the individual will be trapped in a level.
The first step contemplates breathing, food, rest, and sex. If these elements are not fulfilled, you can't think about security, selfhood, recognition, and –finally– self-realization. However, most adults cannot reach the highest point of the pyramid because they don't even satisfy the basic need of sex.
On the other hand, there are teenagers who experience love as the erotic or lustful beings they are. This is the photographic work of Lukasz Wierzbowski, who has, for several years, portrayed young people, inexperienced in life, but satisfied with love.
In his official site you can see Lukasz's work and the two photographic books he has. The most recent is called Sequin Covered Swans, which was published in 2013. In the author's words, the title "explores the ambiguous relationship between the model and their surroundings —everyday adjustments become unconventional spaces and ordinary events become extraordinary in an apparently random sequence of captured moments."
Wierzbowski's work has been presented with individual exhibitions at the Czarny Neseser Gallery in Wroclaw, Poland (2012) and the Nizio Gallery in Warsaw, Poland (2011); they have also been included in numerous shows around the world in cities like New York, Los Angeles, London, Berlin, Moscow, Madrid, Rome, Milan, Melbourne, and Taipei.
Of course there is a darker side to this youthful indulgence, but you won't find it here. Through these twenty five photographs taken by Wierzbowski, we are reminded how rewarding it is to love in adolescence. Although adults might say they are promiscuous and morbid, we just need to take a look at Maslow's pyramid. Eroticism is actually a natural stage on the path to happiness.
Translated by: Joseph Reiter