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I was invited to “Threshold: Display Case” to act as an officially sanctioned voyeur there to document in sketches the “kinky exhibitionists show off their best nasty acts.” (from the website). It was a dark and busy environment, but I did manage to make the drawings above, however they required quite a bit of “post-production” (so to speak), and so they are, according to my definition, “impressions”, although perhaps not exactly what is regarded as “Impressionistic”.
As this is the fifth installment of drawings in this series I begin to see it take shape as a kind of documentation of BDSM events, practices, and people in different cities (Berlin, Tokyo, and, naturally, my home town; San Francisco). My favorite subject matter is still rope bondage, particularly if done in a Japanese style, however this seems not to travel alone and so I am witness to all sorts of kinky acts and the series has grown to encompass that. It seems that the drawings are akin to courtroom sketches since they are made in places where cameras are prohibited, and they record something of what took place without compromising privacy.
Originally I had meant to call the series, “Rope Impressions”, however, presciently I changed the title to “Flesh Impressions”, yet what I wrote originally to describe the series is still relevant:
I sketched these at a bondage performance party called “Black Xmas”, and they are the first drawings in a new series entitled, “Rope Impressions,” that is comprised of life drawings of scenes of Japanese Style Rope Bondage (known as “Kinbaku” or “Shibari” in Japanese). The title alludes not only to the distinct rope marks that are left on the skin of the bound body, but also to the Impressionist movement. This is my virgin foray into Impressionism. Drawings such as these are not so much accurate renderings of art models as they are “impressions” of life, albeit a strange slice of life. The models for these drawings, though bound, were in constant movement, and I captured my impressions with great speed, and later refined them at my leisure. I feel that subject matter such as this returns to the original subversive spirit of Impressionism, before it somehow became the great sentimental hurrah of banal and bourgeois taste. Moreover it hearkens back to “Japonisme”, which was a strong current in Impressionism and other Fin de Siecle art movements. Importantly, it is an erotic indulgence in the beauty of the bound human form.