5 Artists Who Turned Crazy Fetishes Into WTF Masterpieces
Everyone has something special that gets their motor running. For some people it's feet, others enjoy a bit of bondage, and a select few can only get off while reading the intro sentence to an internet article. (PS: You're welcome!)
But no one hides their fetishes worse than artists, who are used to wearing their heart (and privates) on their sleeve. Some even turn their peccadillos into their passion, spending their lives putting their kinks on canvas like some sort of artistic exhibitionists. We have no doubt that they are the happiest -- and sorest -- people in the world.
WARNING: Yelling "but it's art" will probably not save you from being fired for reading this NSFW article during your lunch break.
The XXX Nightmare Fuel Of Toshio Saeki
Sex is pretty horrifying when you think about it. There's the copious amounts of fluids, people being inserted into other people, and ... well, have you seen what your junk looks like? Genitalia look terrifying, like they're the alien parasites in the sci-fi horror that is the human body. Which brings us to Toshio Saeki, an artist who terrified the '60s and '70s with his visions of what doing the nasty would look like in a porno directed by the guy who made The Ring.
Emphasis on "the nasty."
After starting out in the equally depraved advertising industry, Saeki got a job illustrating for Heibon Punch, a softcore men's magazine. The magazine might explain where he got the idea of working with the medium of boobs. But his fascination with the macabre? Oh, he attributes that to spending his childhood with a perpetually sick father. It was either art or serial killing, frankly.
"Go back to sleep, boy. Nothing to see here."
When asked why he dedicates his life to giving people angst-boners instead of, say, literally anything else, Saeki responded that he likes to focus on "the vivid flowers that sometimes hide and sometimes grow within a shameless, immoral, and horrifying dream." To translate that from artist to English: There's probably a flower right outside your door, but a flower made of penises crawling into a geisha's eye-vagina? That was only in Saeki's head until he gifted it to the world.
Saeki is still painting out of a studio in rural Japan. His works are available to buy in the space between nightmares.
The Oiled-Up Erotic Fantasia Of Boris Vallejo And Julie Bell
It's hard work, combining your passion and your relationship. You'd like to give each of them all of your time, but love doesn't put food on the table and being the world's best stamp collector doesn't keep you warm at night. Only a very lucky few manage to have it all, finding love where they work. One powerhouse couple did exactly that, discovering romance through their shared artistic passions: making dope fantasy art and being swole AF.
Now that's a body you'd wanna put in your mouth.
You don't have to own a van to be into panel van art. All you need are a pair of eyes, a critical mind and an interest in the type of images you'd usually find on the cover of a bad '80s fantasy novel. Two of its masters are without doubt Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell. Bell has done fantastic work for Spider-Man, Captain America, X-Men, and other Marvel titles, as well as some for DC. Her heavily muscled figures are perfect for leotard-clad superheroes and you'll know them when you see them.
They're very hard to un-see.
The same goes for Vallejo's illustrations. Originally from Peru, Vallejo moved to the U.S. and quickly become known as an excellent movie poster and collectibles illustrator. His most personal art, however, he publishes in various calendars and art books. There's something extra in those that isn't in his commercial work -- something bronzed and oily.
Can't see the dick forest for the dick trees.
Fifth anniversary is wood. Eighth anniversary is creamy wrestling -- also with wood.
As you might have noticed from the Conan The Barbarian groove in those paintings, both artists are absolutely obsessed with working out. Bell even met Vallejo when a friend recommended her to him as a model because of her ripped bod. He was known to draw inspiration for his art from people at the gym and Bell was a nationally ranked bodybuilder. It was a match made in heaven.
She divorced her husband at the time --a punier sci-fi scholar-- and married Vallejo instead. The two have lived very happily since then, spending their time hitting both the gym and the canvas with equal ferocity.
The Old-Timey Miniature Women Of Olga Solarics
Long before Photoshop could make anyone a size zero, photographers painstakingly altered reels of film by hand to achieve the same effect. The most successful one of them all, however, wished she could alter all of these models differently: instead of shrinking their waist, she wanted to shrink them, period.
In the 1920s and 1930s, the husband-and-wife team of Olga Solarics and Adorjan von Wlassics specialized in airbrushing images of theater, cabaret, and early film stars. But making publicity photographs was just to keep the lights on; Solarics' true passion project was surrealist erotic photography -- which is an artsy way of describing a bunch of really weird wet dreams.
Science can get real lonely.
Solaric clearly had a very specific obsession: tiny, tiny women. Many of her best-known pictures feature models who look like characters from Honey, I Shrunk The Kids if Rick Moranis had a mistress.
Above: Instant diabetes.
These pictures were very popular in Germany and are credited by some as launching the idea of pin-ups. They're also noted, however, to be pictures where the models "relish sexuality, their own bodies and their power of seduction." Which is sort of a weird insight into the types of photo shoots where women are smushed into boxes like fine Cuban cigars and attacked by mastiff-sized insects.
The second most erotic beetle photoshoot after Abbey Road.
The IKEA-Like Sex Contraptions Of Tomi Ungerer
When we think of children's book authors, we tend to imagine the most sexless adults possible -- nice, twee people who know more about stuffed toys than marital aids. So it's always shocking to find out that these people too have naughty bits they use to cuddle other naughty bits with. And the king of fucking this expectation to shreds must be Tomi Ungerer, who is equally known for his beautifully moody children illustrations as his hardcore S&M fetishism.
How do you row a boat?
Jean-Thomas "Tomi" Ungerer started his career in 1957, writing and illustrating children's books. His work won international acclaim, and he's remained prolific over the years. (His latest kids' book, Fog Island, came out in 2013.) But for two decades or so, Ungerer took a break from delighting children to pursue his other love: wacky machine sex.
His most seminal work is probably Fornicon, appropriately published in '69, which are his artistic interpretations of the essence of sadomasochistic sex. Ungerer spent much of his time in the late sixties visiting with several dominatrices in Hamburg who, according to him, "do the work where the psychiatrists stop." Fascinated with these "therapists" he created Fornicon, which has an overt theme of women taking charge of their sexuality, mainly by steampunking their way to gratification.
Heels 'cause she's a lady, Space helmet 'cause she's a sex astronaut.
Ungerer proudly recalls that once a woman approached him and declared that Fornicon was "the only book that ever made her throw up." But as the '60s got going with the sexual revolution, Ungerer played an important role in the continuing battle for sexual equality, gaining a following in which the women began to outnumber the men, hungry for empowering images of female sexuality that "nice girls" aren't supposed to know about.
Ungerer knows how to make a trip to the hairdresser fun.
And the dentist, too.
You'd think the hardest part is restringing, but it's actually finding a good guitar case.
Ungerer's provocative eroticism upset so many Don Draper wannabes his work was banned in both the U.S. and the U.K. Joke's on them, though, because that probably tickled his sadomasochistic streak to no end.
Tom Of Finland's Big-Donged Macho Men
Sometimes, the most subversive thing that an artist can do is to double down on a stereotype and just own that shit. That is the story of Tom Of Finland, a man who instilled gay pride by drawing bunch of burly lumberjacks with big dicks.
Tom Of Finland was the artistic pseudonym of Touko Valio Laaksonen (of Finland), a shortening that was clearly necessary to avoid persecution and to leave more room on the edge of the canvas for his *cough* impressively built specimens.
Admit it, "Pour Some Sugar On Me" just started playing in your head.
His fascination with the male form began at the tender age of five, when he would spend his days idly gazing at a chiseled farmhand from a neighboring homestead. He took drawing classes and later moved to Finland, where he was well-supplied with muscular, uniformed guys including dockworkers, police officers, and the Nazi soldiers patrolling the country. World War II and the Winter War forced his conscription into the army -- which sounds like a downer, but it led to countless sexual encounters within the anonymity of the blacked-out city streets, so who's to say? We don't know what his reaction was to the end of the war, but we'd be sorely disappointed if it wasn't a gay recreation of V-J Day in Times Square.
Yeah, this is pretty good, too.
He continued drawing after the war, eventually finding fame and notoriety. His specialty was buff dudes doing buff dude stuff whilst enjoying each other's company. And we don't mean that as a prude-ish euphemism for sex -- he loved drawing men jovially doing man things together, like tattooing each other ...
"You better not draw a dick! Actually, you can."
Going to the fair together ...
The strongman contest always leads to sex.
Delighting in lumber ...
We don't remember this part of Tom Sawyer.
Oh, and fucking. Lots and lots of fucking.
If you've never been pulled over, this is how traffic stops work.
As a result of his unabashed expression, the gay community embraced the sort of hypermasculinity promoted in Tom's artwork and, whereas society had previously forced them into the shadows, started taking pride in themselves. In a time when male homosexuality was seen as both weak and taboo, Tom depicted it as being as strong and wholesome as you can get. As he once said: "I work very hard to make sure that the men I draw having sex are proud men having happy sex!"
In all fairness, that is a sexy chair.
Even after emphysema and its treatment robbed him of the fine motor skills necessary to draw the beads of sweat on every pert nipple, Tom simply switched to pastels and told the reaper he'd have to get in line behind all the other fellas until he was done painting. He passed away in 1991, but his legacy as one of the champions of gay sexuality -- and his foundation dedicated to preserving erotic art -- live on.
Fuck the world, make it a better place.
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