Heavenly Creatures 02
Continuing the heavenly theme in glorious style, I think Michaelangelo would have loved these naughty, young angels. Their sweeping, gold encrusted wings suggest that they normally have weightier duties than those they are attending to here. Religious allusions crop up elsewhere in Priapus work (for example in altar-like triptychs). I suppose it might be seen as subversive but it seems to me that he is simply commandeering it's traditional artistic language and mythology to express homosexual ideals but without any sense of mockery or satire and steering clear of core, spiritual motifs such as the crucifix.
Heavenly Creatures 15
In fact, he gives the same wry, mismatch treatment to the non-religious Eros/Cupid character, transforming the childlike youth of mythology into a beefy man who has outgrown his wings and is seemingly more intent on gratifying himself than spreading love. The arrow poised indecisively above Blake Riley's back (shall I? shan't I?) could be a rather spiky comment on the transitory nature of gay love and lust, echoing the sentiments expressed more emotionally by Harry Bush with his dangerous cupids.
There's also a strange element of threat or punishment (perhaps domination?) here, a feature which is often present in Priapus' work.
Temple of Doom 01
There's a mythical element in Temple of Doom 01 too. The statue of the slaying of the minotaur depicts the brutal defeat of animal strength, and it's prescence here associates virility with the men below. Down there it seems the struggle is over, the muscular warrior has already established his ascendency and does not even have to leave his throne to taste the fruits of victory which are being offered to him on a plate as it were, in a highly submissive way. Once again there is that sense of power and domination. You will see statues in many other works by Priapus, seemingly observing the action or commenting on it.
to be continued...................