These artists address a huge and complex topic. No wonder it takes so many different views to encompass even as much as appears between these covers.
The book divides into chapters by medium: fine art, photo, digital, mixed media, and sculpture. Each division has its own winner, plus the Master winner, the over-all best in show: Westphal's "Acrobat," the image that appears on the cover. (That's an acrylic, BTW, not a photo.) My taste draws me most strongly to such images, the ones that celebrate the beauty and potential of the human animal, and a good number of those appear throughout. The image that sticks with me, though is Leo's "Goddess" - a handsome but very elderly woman, with a sepia-towned nude in the background. That captures (or hints at) far more about a woman's ages than I can put into words, but reminds the viewer that loveliness inheres in every age.
The fetish-oriented work, although much of it displays exceptional levels of craftsmanship, doesn't do much for me. Some of the humor tickles me, though Turner's "Tarnished" makes me chuckle - and calls to mind The Pro, a comic I enjoyed immensely. Dunbar's "My little demon" and Northey's "Empress of the Splendid Season" do too, though in very different ways. Other works grab the viewer in different ways. Gilbey's "The Proposition," for example, embodies some of the noir elegance that Vettriano has used so effectively.
I don't care for every piece here, but I never expected to. I find plenty to enjoy, however, and respect the talent that goes into the others. Maybe not a must-have for any collection that emphasizes adult themes, this is still a gorgeous work that I plan to enjoy for years to come.