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The best background art in celebrity sex tapes, ranked
Hey, you have to use that art history degree somehow.
This article contains censored images that may still be NSFW.
If you’re looking to get more of a cultural experience from watching celebrity sex tapes, the Internet has got your back. In the illustrious tradition of Indifferent Cats in Amateur Porn or Blackboards In Porn, there’s now a Tumblr devoted to Art from Celebrity Sex Tapes, featuring the background art from Kim Kardashian’s water sports escapades with Ray-J to Pamela Anderson’s seminal (pun intended) yacht romp with Tommy Lee.
Created by Internet artists Cecelia Azcarate, Nick Luckett, and Esteban Gonzalez, the Tumblr mostly consists of pixelated screenshots of the background artwork from your favorite celeb sex tapes. As such, they’re pretty unrecognizable, so you can’t exactly do a formal analysis on each scene—but that doesn’t mean we’re not gonna try.
1) Kim Kardashian and Ray-J, Cabin on the Brink, 2003
The first screenshot depicts the popular rhythm and blues artist Ray-J mounting the reality television personality Kim Kardashian on a hotel room bed. Hanging in the background is a contemplative rural landscape depicting a white cabin peeking out beneath a swath of pine trees, in the tradition of the British romantic tradition or the Hudson River school. Note the composition of the pine tree enveloping the white cabin in the frame, the undulating lines of the leaves embracing the grass mimicking the curve of Ray-J’s legs and rear embracing his lover mid-coitus.
2) Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee, Babe Watch, 1995
Babe Watch (1995) shows the television personality and 1990s sex symbol Pamela Anderson peering over one shoulder. She is disrobed, her flaxen hair disheveled and gathered to one side. Two ferns frame her angelic visage, bathed in warm fluorescent light, as well as a small landscape portrait depicting a similarly vertiginous setting, presumably a meta-commentary on fertility and celebrity that I am not smart enough to make a joke about.
3) Paris Hilton, A Bath in Paris, 2004
This screengrab from A Bath In Paris (2004) portrays the reality television celebrity, animal rights advocate, and noted parfumier Paris Hilton in half-length profile, a strand of blond hair tucked haphazardly behind one ear. She is dressed in what appears to be a towel, and judging by the mirror and sink peeking into the frame, we have caught a glimpse of her in the bathroom, a sly nod to Degas’ 1895 Impressionistic work “After the Bath (Woman Drying Herself).” A small painting with a wooden frame is in the upper left-hand corner. It depicts what appears to be an abstract expressionist work in soft pastel, in the tradition of Mark Rothko or Helen Frankenthaler. With its soft lighting and subtle hues, this work is notable for its divergence from the harsh greens and blacks of Night Vision, the aesthetic that characterized Hilton’s work during this period.
4) Stevie J. and Mimi Faust, Love and Hotel Rooms, 2012
EJ Dickson is a writer and editor who primarily covers sex, dating, and relationships, with a special focus on the intersection of intimacy and technology. She served as the Daily Dot’s IRL editor from January 2014 to July 2015. Her work has since appeared in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Mic, Bustle, Romper, and Men’s Health.