To my readers......

Normal Posting will now be resumed following my break. Thanks for visiting mitchmen! (Mar 12th 2017)

Monday, 31 May 2010

Mitchell's A-Z of Fetish Artists - Mentaiko

Mentaiko - Captive

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I have admitted before, my own shortcomings when it comes to identifying Japanese cartoon artists. It doesn't help that their work often circulates unlabelled but I have never taken time to understand the subject better. However, their contribution to fetish art is so significant that I must mention them when I can.

Mentaiko's work has a pleasing, erotic plasticity in the crucial body areas, I love the shiny buttocks and bulging white loincloth of this captive although the rubbery texturing doesn't work quite so well on his ripped clothing. It's the bondage of course that makes this picture so sexy, the awkward and exposed position and the realistic, strong-looking ropes that snake round his contours. The creasing of the twisted white cloth as it passes between his buttocks is delightfully suggestive. The youth of the subject and, to a lesser extent the fantasy scenario is not really my cup of tea (though it's pretty uncontroversial in this case) but the erotic quality of the artwork is remarkable.

This type of art appears on GMBA fairly regularly, but it's usually unattributed. There are plenty of Yaoi groups who specialise in this art and that is a good place to look for more information.

To see earlier posts in this series click A-Z in the label list below

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Mitchell's A-Z of Fetish Artists - Mike Carcel

In retrospect, I wish I had filed Mike Carcel under 'C' but he always signs himself MCarcel so here he is jostling with all the other 'M's. Mike is a very prolific artist who often depicts fairly extreme and exotic subjects such as impalement, piercing, mutilation, hangings, crucifixion and even bloodier stuff which is much too extreme to show here.

MCarcel - Pony Boy Races
Early pictures show individuals in exotic and imaginative bondage and humiliation. The 'Pony Boy Races' is a simple but imaginative take on the Pony humiliation theme and hangs on to the masculinity of the characters in a way that compares favourably with Leo's well known image (see earlier post) which is much more elaborate and camp. The bowed heads and dribbling mouths are absolutely typical of Carcel's imagery.

MCarcel - Nailman Busy
His later works tend to show show groups of men carrying out and undergoing much more painful and gruesome S&M activities, and I use this description (rather than tortures) because the victims appear to be consenting or at least unprotesting of their fate - extreme as it might be. In 'Nailman Busy' the crucified man is excited enough to distract his torturer from his proper job, reversing their impalement roles. This rather subtle, black humour is another of Carcel's hallmarks.

His characters are usually good-looking men with realistic, attractive bodies and (as in Nailman) they are often shown pausing in their activity to gaze out of the picture, as though posing for a camera (which I imagine reflects the source inspiration but it's obvious that the artist has made a conscious choice to keep it that way). It creates an eerie sensation of having stumbled on some incomprehensible brutal ritual with the captors proudly posing next to their handiwork happily unaware of it's true horror. You can see in this picture how Carcel composes by assembling distinct images together and the individual viewpoints and perspectives are actually slightly different. It doesn't seem to detract from the impact of the finished picture.
MCarcel - Slave Pen
Mike's pen and ink sketches are well drawn with close attention to the details of anatomy. He uses cross hatching rather than solid greys to depict shadows and in his later pictures this is used quite sparingly. His technique shows fine body hair particularly well but the compositions are often crowded and the absence of depth shading and background perspective can cause visual confusion at first sight. A few moments study are needed to unravel the detail.
'Slave pen' has a similar montage style to 'Nailman' but the overall fan-like composition is fascinating and the tethering together of the two foreground prisoners has an almost religious artistry about it that gives the picture interest and weight although pious acceptance and resignation on the part of victims is normal in Mike's world. Most of Carcel's pictures contain at least one little gem of bondage like these. This detached, almost academic treatment and the use of simple outlines may explain why his pictures often seem less shocking than they should.

MCarcel - Michal's MistakeHis men are invariably naked and as a result there is rarely much evidence of a scenario or personal motivations, just men ceremonially torturing and executing other men. The exceptions are those pictures which show Native American Indians torturing their captives. These pictures often include details of the Indian's camp as well as their garments. The introduction of this tangible cultural detail and it's associations certainly add to the impact and this particular scenario gives full rein to Carcel's inventiveness and cruelty - adding arrows, fire, scalping and even flaying to his armoury.

Mike inks over and then erases pencilled originals to produce his final picture and you can see that some detail gets lost in this process - around eyes for example and the knees in 'Slave Pen'. The active participants in the pictures are often shedding copious amounts of body fluids from orifices and wounds which I suspect looks more subtle in the pencilled original than the inked final version. I prefer the earlier 'Pony Boys' style but truthfully the power of his imagery transcends technique.
Mike has produced hundreds of pictures over the years and I wouldn't even attempt to work out a favourite or claim this to be a representative sample of his work. Fortunately there are vast amounts available at the GMBA2 archives (link in sidebar) and there's a good selection of his work at the MCR Group

There's another post of Mike's pictures on this blog here (added March 2013)
 
To see earlier posts in this series click A-Z in the label list below

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Mitchell's A-Z of Fetish Artists - Max

Max - Man in bondage

Max is a modern French comic artist and his work combines stylish technique and attractive imagery. His subject matter is strong on bondage and domination. This picture of a simply bound man with distinctively Gallic features is smouldering with eroticism. The images are sometimes laced with golden showers and cages but there is no leather or rubber, just nudity, sometimes set against severely geometric backgrounds constructed with tiles, stone blocks and cage bars.

Max - Stone Steps

Max shows characters interacting in a powerful way, sometimes simply wrestling, but the more interesting images depict out-and-out domination and he uses bondage to amplify this in a way few artists do. Contrast the drama of the 'Stone Steps' picture with Matt's more typical cowboy bondage (previous post) where the captor is barely glimpsing the possibilities of his power.

Max forces his victim to kneel on a scaffold-like plinth, he uses an upward looking angle and dark shadowing to enhance the sense of the captor's threatening strength, at the same time explicitly displaying for us the captive's sexual purpose. This is more than just a crude 'in your face' visual signal, however, for the man's exaggerated anal opening is at the centre of an 'X' shape formed by the gently curving lines of his inner thighs and upper buttocks. The upper left hand arm of the 'X' flows smoothly into the arc of his captor's penis linking the two together unambiguously. The curving line of the two men's shoulders and arms has an equally satisfying shape giving the composition a coherence which shows true artistry.

Interestingly, Max claims on his website that his pictures are not gay, just about fierce men. Matt's cowboy picture from an earlier era is trying to maintain a similar distinction.

Ah! Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose!

(The more things change, the more they stay the same!).

Max - Rainbow County (detail)

There's a simplicity of approach in Max's pictures which produces striking results. The Dream Sequence extract from 'Rainbow County' shows a man being tied up. The cap-obscured faces of his captors and a few words of dialogue create a powerful sense of subjugation, fear and foreboding. The rope wound around the victim's neck heightens the danger. This is the essence of bondage - the loss of control, the loss of defences.

In his pictures Max often plays with highlighting and employs an unusual style in which the muscle shapes and areas of light and shade are delineated by contour lines like those used on a map. In Rainbow County it creates a multi-layered effect of angled flat planes giving a sense of bodies carved from a block. In other examples, the results range from giving the appearance of camouflage or of fractured rock to a not quite human, metallic sheen on the skin. The spooky effect is enhanced by the shaven heads and futuristic settings.

Max - Tubes

This theme develops into sci-fi world of scientific experiments with tubes and cables attached and inserted into the helpless captives. Scenes of post apocalyptic destruction are populated with men with partial bodies placed on plinths like statues or pierced by metal struts and incorporated into unidentifiable devices or ruins. It's imaginative and fascinating and I could devote a whole blog to discussing it. In the meantime I can only suggest you go and have a look at the website which has lots of pix at onemaxshow.


One of the reasons for posting these articles is to encourage readers (and myself!) to look more closely at fetish art, to notice and enjoy its 'hidden depths'. In this respect the art of Max is a revelation, an economical mix of technical skill, thoughtfulness and sheer erotic power which is rarely encountered. Bravo!

To see earlier posts in this series click A-Z in the label list below

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Mitchell's A-Z of Fetish Artists - Matt

Matt - Ball Grabbin'

Matt must be one of the best known and easily recognisible gay artists but though popular he doesn't seem to attract the dedicated fetish following of some others like Cavelo. He is well known for his craggy faced men with prominent cheek bones and cleft chins. His usual style is comic-like and quite austere with thick lines and hard delineation of muscles and it's not especially sensual. However, in the wrestling picture above, his use of situation and detail (like the hairy chest and leotard-clad butt cheeks) is very sexy.
(I suspect the colouring of this picture is not original.)

Matt - Cowboy Bondage
Cowboys and wrestlers often feature as subjects and provide some of his best figure drawing, the cowboy bondage shown here is sensitively done. This posed composition with disinterested captive and captor's thoughtful look is reminiscent of Luger's slyly suggestive work, almost a pastiche in fact, but there's a slightly harder fetish edge. Other pictures in this series depict branding and sharing of 'warm beer' in the same disarming way.
Matt - Cop Rescue
Bondage and other fetish themes are usually present in his pictures but his approach is often playful and cartoony. Sex organs are exaggerated and prominent and the characters often have smiles - but the subject matter is likely to be equally amenable to less frivolous interpretation - like the two cops above who discover a naked man tied to a bed and immediately unzip. This is a good example of humour 'defusing' a superbly erotic psychological situation. It's a matter of taste of course, but I prefer not to mix the two.

Matt - Sado Island 08
This lightness may detract from the appreciation of Matt's extensive, serious leather and S&M material which is unexpectedly flavoured with masks, heavy strapping and oversize boots. The fantasy story, Sado Island is perhaps his most significant piece in this genre. It follows the fortunes of two lovers caught up in a struggle between two sadistic regimes and learning to enjoy their endless brutal 'training' and punishment. There are some memorable images like the suspension punishment shown here and imaginative inventions - like the tubular glass punishment cells (not shown) but it doesn't sustain quite the same level of invention or thoughtfulness as Leo's story of 'The Estate'.

Matt isn't really thought of as a fetish artist but he deserves to be much more highly regarded for the sheer range and power of his subject matter if not so much for his technique. I don't know of a dedicated website. You will find his work in the GMBA archives but because of his humourous approach he often turns up in other general gay art groups too.
To see earlier posts in this series click A-Z in the label list below

Friday, 7 May 2010

Hang around.

Mitchell is taking a short break, leaving this delicious young man in charge.
Posting of the A-Z will resume sometime around 20th May.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Mitchell's A-Z of Fetish Artists - Matsugoroh

As so often with Japanese artists, (and for which I apologise), I struggle with names but I believe Matsugoroh is also known by the name Ryuji. Anyway I have treated them as one for this article.

Matsugoroh - Rough

He draws young but decidedly chunky men in situations which often have the flavour of adventures with police interrogations, guns etc. The pictures usually involve bondage and conventional S&M 'torture' and abuse - although it's fair to say that sex is the primary thrust of his pictures not fetish for it's own sake. In keeping with his Japanese background, artistic rope bondage, staves and loincloths are much in evidence alongside the usual leather paraphenalia as in 'Rough'. He has a fondness for multiple pictures showing different aspects of the same scene.

Matsugoroh - Spit Lube

His style is natural looking and seems to involve airbrush as well as pencil and what seems like watercolour shading (although it's not in colour usually). This creates a roughly sketched appearance with wash like shadows but there is also a solidity about his men and a considerable amount of fine detailing - look at the facial detail in 'spit lube'. There's an element of mature artistry about the way he presents his pictures with striking close-up compositions and a good command of anatomy.

Matsugoroh - Rugby Locker Room


There is a rugby flavour in a number of his pictures which always earns a brownie point from me. They keep their kit on (not always in it's proper place!) and the shirts and shorts are nicely detailed - as are the locker room backgrounds. The crispness of this picture is different to the previous one - hence my uncertainty about identity - however the general style is similar and the Japanese characters (signature?) appears on both types in my collection. You can see here that his men are also unmistakeably japanese which I applaud.They do have some western touches - such as short, spiky hair and facial stubble. The facial expressions are notably varied and interesting although sometimes a bit theatrical and exaggerated like the rugby spectator here.


Matsugoroh is one of the less 'scary' M artists, his characters seem refreshingly normal and he presents his fetish, even the sleaze, in the same way. The result is still distinctive and striking.


I cannot turn him up on the internet although I know he contributes to G-Men. I suggest the best place to look for his work is at the GMBA archives and other art groups.


To see earlier posts in this series click A-Z in the label list below