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(Feb 18th 2018)

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Priapus of Milet - 4 (last)

Centaur 08
It would be wrong to give the impression that Priapus always portrays men as mere playthings of other worldly creatures, the recipients of their desires. Centaurs, angels and robots alike are liable to take their turn to submit to being probed in a joyous celebration of unconventional lust and the triumph of the gay male spirit over the strongest of all comers. This is exemplified by this encounter where our muscular hero has cornered the Centaur on a rocky crag in it's own natural habitat (as imagined by an old master) and rather than slaying it, simply plunders it's mighty buttocks to demonstrate his superiority. However, this homo-erotic recasting of the ancient myth is something of a double edged sword, showing heroic endeavour coupled with ruthless, untrammelled lust. Erotic but disturbing.

Close Encounter 01
It's really all about men. In this picture there are aliens but they are a distant threat (or possibly observers). The stereotypical, muscular top, square-jawed and stubbled, oozes with sweat and earthy masculinity and blissfully wallows in the pleasure of penetration seemingly unaware of the aliens or his partner for that matter! The equally stereotypical bottom, more aesthetic-looking and slender-limbed, seems equally distracted, reclining artfully with a cool, serious look outwards towards us. Only his curling toes reveal an erotic response to his partner's substantial presence inside him. Is this proud defiance in the face of the enemy (alien or otherwise)?
This acrobatic pose is probably beyond most of us but successfully portrays the elegant curves of the male body and the inherent beauty of man on man sex, beyond mere animal excitement.
Flowing through Priapus's pictures is a love of men and a sense of sex as an important moment, adventurous, full of portent and sometimes slightly scary. He shows gay men as confident, sensual and sometimes bored but not fearful Our heroes, prime specimens of manhood, come face to face with creatures (fictional, mythical and extinct) whose great strength and size is matched by their fearsome appearance and sexual appetite, but they meet that challenge with bravery and inquisitive confidence
There's a lightness of touch, gentleness and humour that is quite uplifting. His dreamlike images blurring the boundary between reality and artistic representation not only idealise masculine love but make wider statements about the essence of sex and erotic feeling and as such seem to me to have a significance that goes beyond sexy attractiveness.

Adjustment Bureau 02
Sadly Priapus seems to have stopped producing new images and his blog (referenced on the images I have shown) has gone, but you can still see a substantial archive of his work at Telemachus12. In fact I understand that the collection is currently being extended with a number of new galleries.
In sections of this site Priapus demonstrates how he assembles his actors from ingredients culled from real modern porn stars. Models acquire muscular bodies of perfect proportions and sexual organs which are always impressively large and erect without being ridiculous. He's like a latter day Baron Frankenstein, plundering the archives of porn to create his own beings, thereby achieving not only the feat of bringing a new life into existence but investing it with striking beauty too. The fact that the actors in these fanciful erotic dramas have recognisable faces adds a frisson extra spice for the viewer.
I am reminded of the work of Baron and Borg who also create imaginary scenes with assemblies of people, artifacts and settings. Their results are astonishingly life-like tableaux of men in captivity, suffering pain and torment. Priapus doesn't go down that path but his manipulation of characters to perform for erotic effect has inherent undertones of domination and series titles like 'Temple of Doom' hint at dramas that the images don't quite express. There is a niggling feeling of the artist groping towards something darker and deeper but we can only wonder what has been left unsaid.


This is the last of my articles on Priapus, for more of his work
I recommend a visit to Priapus' Gallery at Telemachus12

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