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mepaintingWritten by JenniferI first treaded the art history waters at age 15; it was Dada and Surrealism that really wet my whistle. There, I found a playful bunch of revolutionaries who bucked the system, philosophized (and partied) ?til dawn, and imbued their work with unadulterated sexuality. (See Surrealism: Desire Unbound if you?ve any doubts.)?These people,? I thought, ?were my kind of people.?More delving left me flustered. You see, I was also busy planting the seeds of my own young feminism back in those days. While the ideas presented within Dada and Surrealism appealed to my budding art-and-sex sensibilities, I wasn?t seeing many women (and if they were represented, it was as ?wife or muse of?).It was frustrating, to say the least.If one small portion of art history left me wanting, you can imagine how the historical oeuvre of representational art impacted a young paintress. In the museums, I found plenty of luscious female nudes. Don?t get me wrong; I love a sexy (or sexualized) female nude as much as the next person. What disappointed me most was finding all this female flesh lovingly rendered by the male hand. A cursory overview of pre-1950s painting turns up scant female monikers?And of those, few touched upon sexuality.My lifelong search for sexy female artists was born. I sought them out with a nigh religious fervor, resulting in a lengthy list pieced together over time. I?ve put together the tiniest sampling of my favorites, and invite you to add your own.Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven Often dubbed the Dada Queen, this modernist tour de force turned the art world on its tail. She was voraciously sexual and often took to the streets wearing tea strainers as pasties, postage stamps as rouge, and tail lights on her bustles.Meret Oppenheim This Swiss darling quietly established her place with one of the best-known Surrealist objects: the fur-lined teacup (which dripped with allusions to cunnilingus).Carolee Schneemann combines multidisciplinary approaches to art making with feminism, gender, taboo, and sexuality. One of my favorite pieces, Meat Joy, involves a bacchanalian revelry of barely- or un-clad human bodies and sensuous raw meats.Karen Finley had my heart in her hand from first blush. Her performances, sculpture, painting, and writing deal with heavy-hitting subjects like AIDS, queer rights, women?s rights, and s-e-x. She?s covered her body in chocolate, poured yams down the crack of her behind, and in a newer piece dealing with sex, has rolled her nude body in gallons upon gallons of golden honey. If that doesn?t scream smart feminist sexuality, I don?t know what does.Dr. Annie Sprinkle Most of us know Dr. Sprinkle. She?s delivered a sex-positive legacy to the hungry masses for decades! Sex worker, activist, PhD of sexology, and artist: Annie?s done it all. From her groundbreaking Post-Porn Modernist performances, to her playful tit prints, to her sexy photography, she?s still creating thrilling artwork with her partner, Elizabeth Stephens (see loveartlab).Jenny Saville is a British painter who set the art world aflame with her monumental nudes. Utilizing fleshy, sensual strokes of highly pigmented oils, she primarily focuses on the female form (often using herself as a model).Lisa Yuskavage is dear to me, as we wet our toes in the same undergrad waters; not only that, but her work screams sex. Candy colored or muted, slick or painterly, towering or diminutive, her stylized, kittenish nudes have drawn me in with their innocence, then made me pink with their unabashed array of sexual expressions. Ms. Yuskavage, I bow down with respect.Vanessa Beecroft is one of my favorite performance artists working today; but rather using her own body in her work, she orchestrates scores of women (some clad, some partially clad, and many completely nude) in gallery spaces. In taking the female nude from the 2-d picture plane and placing her live and warm in the gallery, she forces the viewer to consider their own reaction and the reality of the model herself. Plus, her work is really really sexy.sighe female form (often using herself as a model).Lisa Yuskavage is dear to me, as we wet our toes in the same undergrad waters; not only that, but her work screams sex. Candy colored or muted, slick or painterly, towering or diminutive, her stylized, kittenish nudes have drawn me in with their innocence, then made me pink with their unabashed array of sexual expressions. Ms. Yuskavage, I bow down with respect.Vanessa Beecroft is one of my favorite performance artists working today; but rather using her own body in her work, she orchestrates scores of women (some clad, some partially clad, and many completely nude) in gallery spaces. In taking the female nude from the 2-d picture plane and placing her live and warm in the gallery, she forces the viewer to consider their own reaction and the reality of the model herself. Plus, her work is really really sexy.sig