Sunday, 14 July 2013
A-Z of Fetish Artists - Skipper
Skipper - Don't Move
Skipper's art takes in some fairly grim subjects, such as shootings and impalements, so it doesn't get much of an airing outside specialist BDSM forums. In 'Don't Move' (above) the violence is implied rather than explicit. Skipper's originals are often large scale works, so some details, like the gag-grenade, don't make it to reduced images. When you've worked it all out, there's a degree of ambiguity as to whether this fantastical scene is a sadistic execution, an elaborate, tongue-loosening (!) procedure, a suicide pact or simply a bizarre test of manhood and bravado. It could be all four. The participants are uncompromisingly square jawed, rugged men, but their sexual communion is fueled by mutual fear and uncertainty, so there's a subtle but deep intimacy here which is not obvious at first sight. The kneeling soldier's abstracted, ecstatic expression as he savours his power is almost as scary as the hardware! Skipper's use of delicate water colouring for such an uncompromising subject seems a little incongruous, stylistically the end result reminds me of some of the work of Manflesh.
Skipper often chooses military subjects showing explicit maltreatment of protesting captives and there's a disturbing degree of historical authenticity in the atrocities he adapts to his erotic purpose, such as GI's impaled with bamboo stakes. Despite their suffering, the victims always respond erotically. At it's extreme, bloody combat and sexual congress become intimately entwined in a glorious, over the top, death-rape climax. These images are too extreme for this blog but 'Construction' (reproduced in black and white for a book cover, below) gives a sense of just how challenging Skipper's work can be.
Skipper - Construction
A highly masculine, construction worker patiently applies a succession of nail piercings to his own body. I suppose this would be dubbed as 'self-harm' by those who like to police human behaviour, but that is hardly an adequate description of what's going on here. In fashion piercing (and tattooing) the pain is usually perceived as a short-term price to pay for a body-flattering decoration. Through Skipper's eyes it is seen as a private pleasure in it's own right, a painful, but erotically satisfying, test of inner strength. The sheer quantity of iron-mongery and the calm concentration of the Construction worker as he proceeds with his task gives the image a striking, obsessive, intensity while the upraised, gleaming nail-point adds an element of almost magical ritual. It's a thoughtful reflection on a little understood, but probably widespread, fetish.
Skipper - Sanctuary
'Sanctuary' is quite different, a complex tableau depicting a failed police raid on club where a fisting orgy is progress. This is a big work and the photography probably doesn't do it justice. The entwined figures take a bit of untangling but there's some nice visual elements here for those into well developed muscularity and bull necks. The subjugation of the cop provides a domination side-show to spur the participants on. Deep fisting is also shown in other Skipper works. It's not supposed to be life threatening but there can hardly be a more demanding or invasive form of intimacy so it's easy to see how it sits alongside other activities portrayed by Skipper
Skipper - Wash
I'm not sure I know what exactly is going on in 'Wash', but the distended stomach suggests something pretty taxing for the butch captive. I've included it mainly because it's a wild sketch, full of wet, sleazy vitality. There's an intensity in much of Skippers' work suggesting a strong engagement with his subject matter. It's a quality which expresses itself in a different ways in 'Construction' and in the excesses of his military tortures and orgies but Skipper always seems to have something to say about his erotic feelings as well as simply invoking ours.
I've not been able to find a website hosting Skipper's art, but there should be some oddments in the GMBA archive (current link in sidebar).