50 Shades of Grey in Art and Literature
This Valentine’s Day, Sam Taylor-Johnson’s film adaptation of the novel 50 Shades of Grey (2011) by E. L. James is released worldwide. The novel about the passionate affair between literature student Anastasia Steele and businessman Christian Grey has sold over 100 million copies, asuring that the film will be a blockbuster. Judging by the promotion, trailer and most critics, the film is a mushy example that nowadays Hollywood completely fails when it comes to lust and submission. The movie might be as sexy as the fifty shades of gray app but it has a lot of predecessors in literature and art, objects, images, and ideas that scintillate mysteriously and personal. In celebration of the book and film’s fitting release date, Christine Kuan chief curator of the art portal Artsy takes a look at seven (lust being the first of the seven deadly sins) of the most scandalous books dealing with illicit sex, and 50 accompanying artworks that have the potential to titillate, disturb, seduce, and provoke in shades of grey.