Routine Desire: a racy new 2023 calendar subverts erotica as we know it

‘Routine Desire’, a new 2023 calendar curated and designed by Angelique Piliere, sees 12 contemporary artists toy with notions of erotic fantasy

Left: Belt by Camille Vivier; right: Red Pump by Torbjørn Rødland erotica, Routine Desire
Left: Belt by Camille Vivier; right: Red Pump by Torbjørn Rødland, in Routine Desire 2023 calendar
(Image credit: Courtesy of Camille Vivier (left) Torbjorn Rodland (right))

Erotica: it’s an art form often synonymous with depictions of women, seen through a male gaze. But a new 2023 calendar, Routine Desire is turning conventional notions of erotica on their heads.

Infused with tongue-in-cheek (in one case, somewhat literally), playfulness and wit, the calendar sees artists introduce alternative erotic fantasies into everyday life. 

Routine Desire 2023 calendar

Untitled by Francesco Nazardo, depicting couple in car, erotica from routine desire 2023 calendar

Untitled by Francesco Nazardo

(Image credit: Courtesy of Francesco Nazardo)

Curated and designed by Angelique Piliere and published by her imprint Oui Non Éditions, the 2023 calendar builds on the success of its 2021 predecessor, Animal Chronicles, which depicted a series of gregarious animal portraits. 

The series was inspired by kitten-filled post office calendars that Piliere received as a child. ‘Not dissimilarly in this new iteration, I was interested in revisiting a well-known theme: the erotic calendars came to mind instantly but felt out of place in today’s context,’ Piliere tells Wallpaper*. ‘From the start, it was important to me to bring a fresher and more playful perspective to the project and be broader in terms of representation.’

Untitled by Blommers and Schumm, woman behind man on table in playfully suggestive office scene

Untitled by Blommers and Schumm

(Image credit: Courtesy of Blommers and Schumm)

Created in a limited run of 250, the spicy edition features the work of 12 artists Torbjørn Rødland, Peter Puklus (with whom Piliere is working on a further erotic publication), Blommers and Schumm, Hudinilson Jr, Francesco Nazardo, Aura Rosenberg, Heji Shin, Celia Hempton, Camille Vivier, Leigh Ledare, Frances Waite and Walter Pfeiffer.

From steamy car entanglements to a monkey licking a vibrator, few stones are left unturned in this surprising meeting of erotically inclined creative minds. ‘In this project, I wanted to bring together an unlikely group of artists, who were exploring erotica in their work but maybe weren’t necessarily the obvious choice,’ Piliere continues. ‘I delved into extensive research and found some amazing bodies of works with very different viewpoints. It was very inspiring. I didn’t know which artists would agree to contribute to the project but that was also the exciting part, how this narrative would unfold was totally unknown.’

Untitled by Walter Pfeiffer, man's bare bottom, part of erotica calendar

Untitled by Walter Pfeiffer

(Image credit: Courtesy of Walter Pfeiffer)

Routine Desire 2023 is now available via the Oui Non Éditions website.

Harriet Lloyd-Smith was the Arts Editor of Wallpaper*, responsible for the art pages across digital and print, including profiles, exhibition reviews, and contemporary art collaborations. She started at Wallpaper* in 2017 and has written for leading contemporary art publications, auction houses and arts charities, and lectured on review writing and art journalism. When she’s not writing about art, she’s making her own.