World renowned designers Jenna Josepher and photographer Jesse Untracht-Oakner had a passion for two sided animations, but little did they know their next product would be going deep with double sided dildos.
The two artists began an affair diving head first into a project called SFW. SFW is an art experiment that features GIFs of sex toys that have been desexualized to present an exotic masterpiece of visualized sexual fetishes.
When asked about the inspiration for the project Jenna Josepher stated, “Alex Papadopoulos our producer on this project, went to high school with one of the owners of a sex toy company, Doc Johnson and he was always sending her big boxes of dildos for fun,” Josepher says. “She had always wanted to do some sort of project with them and finally she reached out to Jesse.”
She goes on to say, “And I instantly thought of Jenna because we had worked together on a few fashion lookbooks,” Untracht-Oakner says. “I remember, specifically, Jenna saying, ‘yes, for the cause.'”
Described by SFW‘s writer Leah Dworkin, “The cause” is to paint sexual objects in a less degenerate light.
In their Mission Statement, Leah writes, “Sex-toy imagery is often suggestive, triggering, and discriminatory, not to mention, advertisements for sexual products can easily make certain viewers feel uncomfortable, unwelcome, judged or excluded. Even though this is how the sex-toy industry has marketed itself in the past, we thought it was time for a change. We not only felt a real responsibility but saw an exciting opportunity to create a new breed of visual imagery within the sex-toy marketplace that was progressive, inclusive, positive, socially conscious and approachable–to all sorts of human beings.”
Regardless of definition SFW isn’t simply an ad for Doc Johnson. In their own descriptions Josepher and Untracht-Oakner envisioned an ability to rebrand sex toys as acceptable by casting them retro style backgrounds such as those seen in 80s and 90s pop culture and television sitcoms. However these pieces of art would have no human characteristics being displayed.
Josepher when asked as to why the human body or actors weren't chosen for the project said, ““I really didn’t want to use any skin tones whatsoever because I didn’t want it to imply this is for use by X people at all,” Josepher says. “And then, along that line, no gender implications either because to imply one you’re going to have to imply all of them. So we found our lowest common denominator, which is movement.”
By definition SFW is exactly what it stands for, for work. Josepher and Untracht-Oakner intentionally designed animated GIFs that would defeat normal social media rules and regulations on sharing sexualized or perverted imagery with the goal of people being able. To embrace sexuality and feel free to share the work on social media platforms even from the office.
“The reason why Jenna and I work so well together is because we try to straddle the art and commerce. Then to do something with creativity and social consciousness and intelligence behind it,” Untracht-Oakner says. “But there’s a bit of a nudge, nudge/wink, wink to our styles anyway. So we definitely wanted to keep it a little humorous.”
“I mean, they’re sex toys,” Josepher continues. “We couldn’t get rid of that aspect.”