Wednesday, 23 August 2017
A-Z of Fetish Artists - Zamok (part 2)
Zamok moves further into Franco territory with this image which is clearly a milking machine. The soccer player persona provides a suitably virile donor with their reputation of leading the playboy lifestyle providing a pleasing justification for the rather brutal extraction mechanism which does not appear to involve any stimulation of the normal pleasure zones relying instead on a chunky, electro-assisted plug. Blindfolds are featured in a number of Zamok's early pictures and outwardly they give the impression of forced involvement. But the removal of external visual stimuli, forcing the captive to focus on what he physically feels seems to be another expression of the introspective interest I noted earlier.
The slightly vague mechanics of the machine are actually less engrossing than the delicious, lean physique of the soccer player (with his authentic, well-developed, thigh muscles). Observe once again the superb detailing of his clothing and body hair. The spiky hair cut which gives a boyish air to what is clearly a mature man (no Franco college jock he!). His maturity and the realistic depiction of his body makes his nudity more striking and the uncomfortable pose the machine obliges him to adopt for this procedure all the more humiliating.
Zamok has also produced a group of images which he labelled 'Denim', featuring men in tight skinny jeans. It's a fashion style which has enjoyed a recent renaissance in my part of the world, but primarily as 'yoof' garb (as are the sports shoes). As a result this clothing on a mature man seems less than flattering to me, but I don't know if that is Zamok's intention.
There's a predominantly manual, milking process in this fantasy, administered again by an anonymous hand. The machine on which the subject is mounted seems to be little more than a complex restraint device. It's most striking feature appears to be a large wheel with chunky rubber tyre, which presumably spins between his legs. It suggests this man has automotive interests, but it's not clear whether the wheel's purpose is to provide direct friction - or just the intimidating threat of it. If it's the former, a spectacular shredding of those skinny jeans is in prospect. The whole arrangement seems to fantasise a sort of dynamic, motorised 'wedge' (click on 'riding the wedge' in the list of lables below if you don't get this allusion!).
I might be getting carried away with my wedge theory, but at least the customary ball-stretching cord is keeping the poor man's ball-sack out of harms way. However the deliberate narrowing of it's gauge to wire-like dimensions at the ball-loop end is equally capable of sinister interpretation.
(click to enlage images)
The sinister is not entirely absent from this image either. It has a medical flavour, provided essentially by the automated syringe to which the eye is irresistibly drawn but it's subtly supplemented by the man's bandage-like gag. The syringe is poised to inject a sizeable amount of fluid into the athlete's balls which are offered up, deliciously tautened by a clamping ring. This replaces the usual stretching cord, but the stretching action is now provided by the athlete's own weight, brought into play by the (adjustable?) height of the ring. It's also potentially amplified in an angular way by the action of the impressive piston up his rear.
The detailed mechanics of this device probably don't reward closer scrutiny, but the captive's physique certainly does and whilst Zamok's Central European male does not vary very much in appearance, neither does his erotic appeal. This recumbent, gagged position adds an extra frisson of helplessness which is very erotic.
In this more recent work (after a gap of 7-8 years) the mechanics of entrapment are much simpler. It's essentially an electrified sounding rod which has been crudely weighted to gradually insert itself deeper and deeper into the captives dick. The restraint on him is minimal too, but the use of a much more substantial leather gag (no doubt incorporating a plug) signals a more demanding test than usual for this captive and judging by the arching of his body and the tension in his neck, it is already under way. Notice how the shaping of his buttock suggests the support platform is little more than a round pole adding a balancing problem to his woes.
Once again, Zamok's treatment of the man's chest and pubic hair is exquisite and the naked body line connecting them is a revelation of the possibilities of erotic portrayal. This is a man in command of his artistry.
The artist revisits familiar, previous torments here in another simplified concept showing just ball weighting and a butt support platform, which presumably incorporates an anchoring plug. But there's a sense of new beginnings about this image too. Thus, although the athlete's contemplative expression harks back to earlier pieces, a dribbling emission for once shows evidence of a spontaneous, 'unassisted', unmilked sexual response.
Similarly, while the inclusion of a detailed background is also a return to earlier practice after the long run of starkly focussed 'experiment' images, the choice of a dungeon setting is most unexpected, considering his preoccupation with sporting connections hitherto. It follows the inclusion of a leather, fetish gag in the previous image and this perhaps reflects a growing awareness that there is a part of a real world in which experiencing invasive and painful body fantasies is not a solitary occupation.
In fact this captive seems to be on display, not a public display, but only for those select few who have access to the cell where he is being kept. The tight restraining ropes and straps of previous imagery have become simple, rigid loops which allow movement and are probably not inescapable, so performing a ritualistic role as much as a functional one.
This is the most recent work I have by Zamok. It's one of his most complex 'entrapments' but the multiple attachments to the athlete's body have the delicacy of a spiders web quite different to the robust urgings of the gym machines. There is still a chunky, butt plug-cum-piston steadying his body and forcing it forward into an erotic display position, a function augmented by the collar pulling backwards on his neck.
The intrusion of the butt plug is balanced by a sounding rod, rigged up to insert itself under the weight of a control device which has replaced the usual cbt, ball attachment. They are both wired as electrodes, creating an axis through the body for the torment itself, which is electrical in nature.
In this image the idea of a watching audience in a dungeon scenario is not just referenced but positively celebrated, the notice at the back conjuring up a fairground atmosphere and giving the impression of being in a tent. However said watching audience are nowhere to be seen. As ever this picture seems to be about the subject's experience and the sign adds exposure and humiliation into the usual physical discomforts. In this context the man's kneeling position and bowed head seems to significant, suggesting penitence and being exacted for erotic misdemeanours.
Those of you more knowledgable in european languages than I may be able to pinpoint Zamok's mother tongue here – somewhere in central Europe maybe or possibly we're in Spain.
The familiar socks and plimsolls are superbly detailed as always. The sheen of the socks almost suggest women's stockings but it does reflect the authentic soccer gear of the period, so we won't go there!
I'm sure my admiration for Zamok's work is plain to see. His technical drawing skills are obvious but he has a sense of the erotic that is enormously pleasurable and stylish because it is so subtle, based on realistic, observed anatomy and not over-inflated organs. I have compared him and contrasted him with Franco based on the common use of machine-like restraints, but they really very different. Zamok machines appear to have complex mechanics but are really just restraint frames. Franco's machine's look simple and improbable, but really work their victims hard. Zamok's work tends to the static, while Franco's is often dynamic and full of movement. Zamok's subjects internalise their emotions and experiences, often alone, while Franco's emote wildly, performing for their captors. How lucky we are to have both of them!
Zamok doesn't have a website as far as I know. For a while he seemed to be releasing new work via blog perros but that has stopped now. You can find some more of his art via search engines. I know of only 23 published pieces by him (+ one possible).
For more articles in this series click on the A-Z label below or search for specific artists using the index page or search boxes (in the navigation banner and top right)