George Barbier

November 14, 2008 at 5:22 pm (artworks) (, )

Venus

Originally uploaded by beastsofprey

80 years after his death, George Barbier’swork is being shown in his first posthumous exhibition at the Fortuny Museum in Venice.

Barbier was a French illustrator who was quite successful in his theatrical costumes, book illustrations and couture fashion illustrations. In his later career, Barbier designed wallpapers, glass and jewelry. He died at the height of his career, with no fanfare, and his remaining family had little appreciation for his work, and his name quickly fell into obscurity.

“His library, containing many rare editions, was auctioned off and his collection of Japanese and European erotica was donated to the Bibliothèque Nationale, where it was placed in the restricted “Enfer” section, reserved for works considered threatening to public decency.” – International Herald Tribune

For decorative artists, erotic artists, lithographers, writers, and designers, Barbier was the fusion of them all, and was able to span them all while still creating a unified body of work.

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The Pleasure of Eros

October 17, 2008 at 12:38 am (artworks, Uncategorized) (, )

The Pleasure of Eros

Originally uploaded by MisterBlank

I’m cleaning through and organizing some past work. It’s the jumping off point to where I am going. And to some, the last show I guess was a bit out there. Somebody just last week commented on it, and wanted to know what the hell I was thinking. This show was 2 years ago!!!!!   Hehehehe two years later and it is still in their head? I did something right To say that the little old ladies that showed up to the opening for free cheese were a bit shocked would be a bit of an understatement. Wait till they see a giant vagina with sawblades and beartraps attached (Dentata)

I don’t normally discuss the why and what I was thinking of my pieces. It’s for the viewer to interpret themselves. But I want to establish a solid foundation for where I am going so that people don’t run over in horror as I talk to their children.

Walking through an old book store, I ran into this book titled “Warne’s Pleasure Book for Girls”. The title alone intrigued me. Published in 1926, it was a summer reading book for girls, filled with short and medium sized stories to help fill their summer days. I just laughed at the idea of how the context of words has changed in such a short period of time. In today’s standard, it would be inappropriate and ….dirty.

Even the language of the stories inside had a slightly erotic style. Once again, completely unacceptable today.

 At first glance, the piece is slightly forbidding, surrounded by brown paper, and her chest cavity carved through the book and replaced with chicken wire and a wasp. It’s naughty, like a Playboy wrapped in a paper bag.

 

The wasp is actually something different. In early Roman times, the God Eros was often depicted as a small wasp-like insect. When you understand the significance of the wasp, the piece takes on a different interpretation. The chest cavity and honeycomb shape of the chickenwire become a nest, the home of Eros, ie, love. And the pleasure of Eros, in any context, is something that resides in all of us. But not allowing ourselves to delve further than our initial reaction keeps us from the pleasure and beauty of Eros.

 

(This is the bottom of the frame, a segment torn out of the book, I just thought it humorous, and a jab at those that wouldn’t take the time to get past their initial reaction. And I love how the character moaned the sentence.)

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Dentata

October 2, 2008 at 6:25 am (artworks) ()

 

Dentata - gorgons.envy.nu via blog photoshare

Dentata - gorgons.envy.nu via blog photoshare

I’m enthralled with the myths of Dentata. There are many cultures around the world that have independently developed their own concept of toothed or fanged vaginas, either as a cautionary tale of sexual exploration, or as a hero’s tale of how one sole individual male was capable of “taming” femininity for all man-kind.

 I don’t think it’s a coincidence that these myths and stories all developed when patriarchal cultures began to have contact with matriarchal cultures. They needed to find myths and stories to help support their conquering, at least intellectually, of matriarchal societies. In many cases, the myths were a means of justification, to show the need for male domination.

It makes for an interesting duality, as the same myths in other cultures are more of cautionary tales, similar to the original Little Red Riding Hood, where Red Riding Hood  is eaten by the wolf with no happy ending. It was a cautionary tale, meant to alarm and scare. The dentata myths are similar, as they play off the male fear of castration, and are used to caution men of the power of female sexuality.

As Sigmund Freud put it , “Probably no male human being is spared the terrifying shock of threatened castration at the sight of the female genitals.”

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Shipping a Piece

October 1, 2008 at 7:58 pm (artworks)

I’m crating a piece for a new home, and I’m quite excited about it. The piece is roughly 3×4 acid stained metal, with a automobile condenser attached. I loved the shape of the condenser. And I love how engineers need to follow the laws of nature to make something work. The uterine shape not only works in female anatomy, and botany, but is apparently the most efficient shape and design in whatever the hell that piece is supposed to do.

Not only is the piece going to a good home, it was part of a larger plan, a fundraiser for someone who lost their career and child’s scholarship when someone found out she worked as a sex writer as a sideline. She taught at a school, and in conjunction to that, her daughter was given a scholarship to a Christian middle school. When her work was found out, her daughters scholarship was revoked, being told that her kind wasn’t welcome there. So much for not passing the sin’s of the parent onto the child.

And isn’t it funny that while people are clamouring to buy the “Sex & The City” box set, and buy Carrie Fisher clothes and shoes, they are willing to persecute a person who actually lives the life while seeing the fictional character as a role model.

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