Sunday, 13 July 2014
A-Z of Fetish Artists - Tam (part 2)
09 Tam – The Bull (Trooper Delgado Punished)
There's a sinister, militaristic flavour in this image of a Latin American soldier demoted to the ranks and disciplined after failing to capture a rebel leader. An audience of troopers has gathered to witness their former Sergeant's fall from grace and gloat over his previously unsuspected masochism, revealed by the whipping. Tam shows a balding patch on the disgraced NCO's head indicating his maturity - which makes his humiliation in front of the younger soldiers all the worse.
There's a sense of depth in this picture and a convincing interaction between the main protagonists although I think Tam's missed a trick by not curling the tip of the whip back into the picture somewhere. This punishment is most severe, judging by the weals on the victim's back but Tam's depictions are rather less graphic than Tagame's.
10 Tam – Policeman's Woodland Whipping
There's something quite poignant about the tattered remnants of clothing and wincing expression of the Policeman in this simple image which is focussed entirely on the recipient of the punishment. I have always found the British Police Uniform pretty un-erotic (unlike their US counterparts) so I have to admire the way Tam extracts erotic value here. The woodland setting looks a bit like one of Tom's logger's camps.
11 Tam – Sex Slaver (MP Wrenched)
Whilst standard whippings (above) and fist beatings are a mainstay in Tam's pictures he invents a particularly nasty torture for the kidnapped MP in 'Sex Slavers' where two heavy, adjustable wrenches are clamped to his nipples
- to promote their enlargement(!)
In a rare moment of humour the kidnapper's discover to their delight that this process can also be used to force the production of 'bull milk' for their breakfast cereal. I would imagine early morning must be a particularly favourable time for extraction! The open space in this picture suggests another illustration has been removed by the artist.
12 Tam Sex Slavers (Gold)
As the 'Sex Slavers' story develops, the focus of the kidnapper's brutality switches back and forth between the MP and his fellow captive, the policeman. This device has the effect of constantly rekindling the reader's anticipation and interest in what will happen next. It's much harder to sustain interest in a procession of tortures against the same victim.
This picture shows both captives as the Cop is secured for ringing (see 08, Part 1) the MP being left to deal with his wrenches alone. The two men in this story, complete strangers before their abductions, develop a rather manly, comradeship in their shared cell and are eventually forced into sex together. However, the romance comes to an abrupt end when they are unceremoniously sedated and packed into separate crates for onward shipment to their purchasers. Nice.
This picture is not really integrated as a single scene in the conventional sense but made with separate images placed together – it's a bit like cut-aways in a film brought together on the page. Switching between these two parallel elements of the picture creates an unexpected sense of space and time around the scene. The 'tit-ringing' picture (08 in the previous post) can be read in the same way, showing the tension between the struggling pair and the disapproving on-looker. It's the absence of a unifying background that makes this effect possible. Is it intentional on the artist's part or an interesting accident? See next picture.
13 Tam – Cop Lesson (Endurance)
'Cop Lesson' features a policeman who hires a body builder offering lessons in Advanced S&M. The tit-weight test is the highlight of his session, at the cop's own request and it's clearly a favourite with Tam too. He paints the policeman in this story as a meek man completely lacking in the ultra masculine bravado of other Tam authority figures (that's despite his intimidating physique, but it's by no means an implausible characterisation). He humbly submits to the instructions and the brutality of the 'Dom' who for his own part is pretty disinterested, as is evident in the picture I have chosen, where he's watching TV. There's a companion picture in which the Policeman's pecs are even more stretched by the weight but his anguish is ignored by the Dom who is now casually working his way through the racing results and several cans of beer.
This is a more recent work and the drawing of the two characters is nicely done. Tam uses the same technique we discussed before:- two images (barely connected) plus a blank background (which you can see he has taken pains to create, if you look closely). The effect is even more marked in the other picture but it's not as pretty as this one. However, it's obvious in this example that Tam is deliberately trying to create a sense of time passing and of the characters existing separately within their shared story. It brings out the idea of the torture being a personal trial for the Policeman, proceeding independently of the torturer, but still under his control.
It's difficult to express this in words but you can see something similar in the imagery by 'Roped Studs' of the model Cam.
Cam is tied to a table with a row of pegs across his chest which produce a particularly spectacular effect when he aches his head backwards. In the clip he simply strains against the ropes or changes position to ease the discomfort, occasionally grunting or expelling his breath in frustration and pain. It's quite different to the usual manic struggling and creates a powerful sense of bondage restraint being a slow-burning torture with the prisoner left to face it alone.
That, I think, is what Tam is trying to do.
14 Stokes Punishment (Slapped in the Face)
'Stoke's Punishment' is one of Tam's longest stories and in the course of 200 odd pictures the Navy Officer is pretty much continuously beaten by a disaffected member of his crew and his henchmen. Having first been softened up with fists and kicking, he is stripped down to his underwear (augmented with sexy uniform bits in Tam's usual fashion) before being confronted with this viciously wielded strap. Targeting the face when the rest of the body is so invitingly available is very unexpected. This is a highly original image, a sort of masculine equivalent of the bitch slap and invokes much the same reaction of surprised shock - in both the character on the page
- and the viewer if you are anything like me.
15 Stokes Punishment (Topped and Tailed)
Stoke's torment continues on a Tagame-esque course with a concrete block strung between his nipples and a large dildo simultaneously inserted into his ass. The dildo is held in place by straps embellished with evil spikes that pierce the buttocks when drawn tight. Stoke's manly fortitude in the face of this barrage of pain is conveyed by a stiffly erect posture and Tam's succinct and earthy dialogue. His tell-tale dripping cock however goes unremarked. Tam doesn't usually indulge in multiple simultaneous tortures and I must say I normally prefer the simple approach, but it makes for a spectacular image.
Stoke's character – and his tenderised buttocks - are about to be tested further by the appearance on the scene of his fuck-buddy from the ship, a junior rating who will cane his spiked ass in an attempt to convince the kidnapper that he too has a grudge against Stoke. The Lieutenant's angry dismay at this apparent betrayal is a nice twist to the story.
16 Stokes Punishment (The Climax)
Sadly (or happily for us perhaps!), the would-be rescuer's deception is spotted by the kidnappers, Stoke's cane pain is all in vain and the boyfriend himself ends up gagged with Stoke's dildo, presumably spikes and all – uumm. He looks on in amazement as Stokes's flogging continues to a spectacular spouting climax. Much to my chagrin, Tam shows the crucial vinegar lash (above) in a separate picture to the resulting fountain, but nevertheless this marriage of sex and pain is memorable and I'm sure you can imagine it!
Tam is a great reviser of his own work. I have several versions of this story collected over the years and not all of them include this picture or it's spurting companion. Collecting Tam's work is not without it's challenges! Variants are proliferated by his practice of cleaning up pictures and splitting up multi-sketch pages (which also affects numbering of course). He also revises pictures with patches of electronic shading sometimes and the dialogue, which is handwritten in originals, appears typed in other versions, sometimes with altered wording to clarify or enhance the story.
For nerds like me it's a fascinating world to explore.
17 Got Yah! (Kneed in the Groin)
It's back to basics for my last two examples. I don't know which story this comes from, it seems to show a routine Driving Licence check going slightly awry. It seems to sum up much of Tam's work, a violent revolt against authority and power, which I'm sure many if not all of my readers will totally 'get'. (Interestingly my word processor suggested completing this as “get-em-off” – but I leave that up to you!) In his uniform, the moustached policeman does seem to have acquired an air of pomposity and arrogance while the assailant manages to be both tough looking and cute, although not so cute that he doesn't know the basics of street fighting.
While clothing usually plays a key part in Tam's story-telling, he sometimes seems undecided about whether his characters are dressed or not and this is quite a nice example. Fabric becomes ethereal, clinging to the body and necklines fade away (and trouser waistbands in other pictures, like 09 above).
Is this a representation of multiple points in time? I jest!
18 Stoke's Punishment (On your feet lieutenant!)
My final image is another expression of contempt for authority. It's from Stoke's Punishment but could equally have come from almost any one of Tam's stories. Unlike modern day porn stars, Lt Stoke doesn't eagerly gobble up the urine but turns his head away in distaste. The beauty of Tam's work is that victims show realistic reactions to their abuse, they wince when struck (14), they concentrate and tense when enduring pain (13), they become tearful when it all gets too much and too unfair (10). It often is unfair, but as we all know only too well, life is unfair. And it's nice to dump it back on someone else sometimes. And as the characters themselves come to realise, there's always an orgasm to compensate.
I would happily have produced several more articles on Tam, I haven't even mentioned his Fantasy/Sci-Fi themes which notably feature a transparent 'milking globe' enclosing the male organs and impaling the tip with a delivery tube. I should also have praised his championing of the erotic attractions of the older man, his ability to make age-lined faces and receding hairlines look good. Perhaps another time.
I suppose Tam's work primarily appeals to men of a certain age and with British backgrounds, but his underlying messages, often speaking the unspeakable, are universal and bravely delivered (somewhat un-Britishly) in uncompromising and direct terms – much like his men fight – but without resorting to shockingly repulsive extremes. His technique is not seductive but quirky and interesting and if it doesn't totally scale the artistic heights it certainly reaches erotic regions other artists can only dream of. In any case, like Tagame it's designed to tell a story, not hang on a wall to be admired, but I find plenty to admire in his work.
Several Tam sites have come and gone over the years, both on Yahoo and Google Groups and his latest base seems to be at Tams Art blog
For other articles in this series click on the A-Z label below