Legendary album artist Peter Saville designs statuettes for the 2nd Annual Pornhub Awards

The Joy Division cover designer channels sex chemistry to follow up Kanye West

Published On
Sep 05, 2019

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Following in the footsteps of Kanye West is an unenviable task. In addition to music and performing, the multi-hyphenate artist designed the statues for the inaugural Pornhub Awards last year, the adult streaming site’s own celebration of its most popular actors.

So to design this year’s awards, Pornhub enlisted Peter Saville, founder of Factory Records and the renowned artist behind album covers for Joy Division (including their 1979 debut “Unknown Pleasures”), New Order, David Byrne, Brian Eno and Peter Gabriel. The resulting work references the biological and chemical aspects of sex and attraction.

“Principally I was interested to create a form that references the molecular structure of the main sex hormones, including estrogen and testosterone, but also some of the chemicals that come into play such as serotonin and dopamine,” Saville says. “My intention was to maintain a degree of ambiguity in the final form the award took, with respect to the sexual spectrum so impressively encompassed by the award category line-up.”

Those categories include awards for the most popular male and female performers, but also for “Top Fetish Performer,” “Most Popular Verified Amateur” and “Top Female Solo Performer.” (If you’re wondering, there is no “Top Male Solo Performer” category.)

Saville is no stranger to the industry—in the ‘90s he collaborated on an album cover and video with Suze Randall, the porn director and model who was the first female staff photographer at both “Playboy” and “Hustler,” an experience that inspired this project.

“I remembered a conversation I had years ago with Suze Randall about the vital importance of ‘chemistry’ in casting sex scenes,” Saville says. “That thought led me to look into the science of erotic attraction. The creative challenge was how to design a trophy celebrating sexuality without reiterating the clichéd symbolism of erotica.”

But while the result is less on-the-nose than West’s previous effort (that award took the shape of a sex toy), Saville still wants his design to provoke similar feelings. “Sculpturally the award has a bio-fluidity about it, abstractly evoking orifices, penetration, sperm and bondage toys,” he adds.

The 2019 Pornhub Awards take place Oct. 11 at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles. The show will be hosted by Asa Akira, featuring a performance by Bad Bunny.