Tuesday, 14 February 2012
A-Z of Fetish Artists -Quaintance
The letter 'Q' has only one artist who meets the criteria for my A-Z - George Quaintance, whose 1950's images of Latin men and sexy cowboys with distinctively sensual faces and bodies are so well known, it hardly seems appropriate to consider him a fetish artist and yet....
Quaintance's art abounds with erotically-flavoured imagery of death and danger and men menaced by deadly weapons. It is often disguised as Hollywood costume epic material and devoid of explicit sexual content but nevertheless, it is highly charged for fetishists who take the trouble to look.
Quaintance - Bacchant
Take 'Bacchant' (meaning a drunken reveller), for example. It's a pretty picture forging a fanciful connection between an attractive young man and a still-life of grapes. An allegory for the irresistible appeal of alcohol? Perhaps. Or if you prefer it's a naked, young man held in sensual bondage by a plant whose leaves appear to be intimately brushing his body as well as covering it. The tendrils wound round his limbs are a good deal more subtle than your average 'tentacle' picture but are obviously in charge of the situation. Plants, here are like Platter's devils - psychological fetishes, alluring fantasies impossible to fulfil in reality.
Quaintance - Aztec Sacrifice
'Aztec Sacrifice' is a more well known picture and has obvious fetishistic elements embellished with a glossy and glamorous presentation. The bondage is rather lifeless and fake, but it's sexual intent is pretty obvious from in the shapely golden G-string worn by the spread-eagled captive. He actually appears to be more of an entranced high priest than a victim, coldly presiding over the execution of the two luscious, near naked, young men who lie at his feet pierced by arrows. Freud would have something to say about all that, but for those who appreciate the more extreme varieties of fetish imagery no interpreting is necessary.
Slave Market shows men chained together in pairs under the whip of the overseer. It's possible see these last two pictures as representations of gay oppression but I cannot substantiate that impression. This slave picture is rather too posed, but the little cameo of the two collapsed slaves injects some artistic quality, drama and also some daring erotic suggestion via the positioning of the dark haired slave's head and left arm. As always in this era, seek out the hidden eroticism!
Given the oppressive environment in which he worked, Quaintance's work is quite astonishing. These pictures don't really do justice to his technical skill. All in all I'm quite happy to list him alongside our other fetish exponents.
I'm not aware of any website for Quaintance, but Googling images brings up plenty of examples.
There is a review of the Taschen book of his complete works at Homodersiribus
For other articles in this series click on the A-Z label below.