Natalie Krim’s illustrations, which are highly erotic in nature in all manner of repose, self-pleasuring, orgiastic and mellifluously sensual, are feminine and delicate, like she is, but hint at darker overtones. They are a world all her own, alter-egos, characters from the unconscious, coquettish nymphs, desirous, wanting and wanton. The title of this portfolio is that of the exhibition and book from 2022, in which she was a major contributor.
This selection of her work shows her development from a more design-oriented style which sometimes included men, to her recent, looser drawings celebrating women revelling in their sensuality.
In 2016 Autre Love online magazine interviewed the artist; you can read the whole interview here, we have selected just some of Natalie’s responses.
When did you discover your style?
I started drawing the girls that I draw after a breakup. I hadn’t really been creating anything up until that point. It was a way for me to express myself, and I just had so much fun. Then I started dating an artist who really just pushed me to keep at it, and kind of taught me to wake up in the morning and the first thing you do is draw.
Your persona is perhaps one of the most interesting things about your art. It seems like you’ve developed a persona, because you’ve seemed to take on the characters in your artwork. Is that something that happened over time?
Well they aren’t really characters, they’re really self-portraits. So I don’t think of my work as work, because it’s just how I write a diary. It’s all of my experiences, it’s my relationships with lovers, or myself. So I don’t really see a disconnect – it’s just the same.
Do you think your work is feminist in nature? Or is it purely feminine? Do you think about the political aspect?
I don’t think about it at all. I think it’s just feminine. There’s so many female artists right now that are so focused on just sexuality, and there’s so many other women’s rights that I wish had a little bit more attention. Like education and things like that. I feel like just because I’m a female artist I get classified as super feminist. And I am a feminist, but it has nothing to do with my work. I’m not trying to make a statement with it, I’m just showing you my life.
Do you think that these days people have a hard time understanding sex? Or that pornography especially has tainted our ideal of a positive sexual lifestyle?
I find that only in America, I don’t find that in European cultures or other places. I feel like pornography has created almost a violence that goes along with sexuality, or just a disconnect that when you’re with a lover you have to act a certain way or say a certain thing. You’re kind of missing just being with the person. I’m not blaming that totally on pornography though, I know it’s an individual way to be intimate with someone.
Maybe it’s about sex education being so lacking that people grow up and have this weird idea of what it is? You must get a lot of unsavoury messages from people who confuse your work.
Oh my god I could show you confusion – I have like fifty dick pics in my inbox.
Do you think people pigeon-hole you into this sort of erotic illustration?
As you know, my background is in lingerie, and I’ve studied all types of eroticism and fetish. I’ve been studying it since I was fifteen, so it’s a very big part of me, but I would like to be known for other sorts of material too.