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Wednesday 30 April 2008

Mitchell's A to Z of Fetish Art - Axel (revised 2015)


 Axel is an accomplished artist and his best fetish pictures are full of atmosphere and menace. There's a manic energy about this picture that is quite at variance with the calm that normally prevails in the barber shop and this immediately suggests all is not as it should be. The dishy, young barber with muscle stuffed T-shirt, exposed midriff and wasp-like waist flaunts his allure but the array of equipment bizarrely strapped to his thigh and the strangely glowing cable tangled untidily round his leg make us wonder about that slogan on his chest and about his intentions with the up-raised, glinting razor. None of this is visible to the unsuspecting customer/victim but he squirms in his seat as though something unexpected has just occurred, a closer shave than requested. It's like the moment of truth in a gory horror movie. The over-sized hands and boots flavour the participants with a clumsy masculinity that is quite endearing.

Axel - Pipe 24

 Axel often uses imagery of masks and pipes in underground dripping cellars which is very erotic and evocative especially when contrasted with a naked captive like this.There's more symbolism of weirdness, control and helplessness in this picture but it's quite different to the previous one, a threat of sleaze and filth replacing incipient violence. Axel's palette is a unexpectedly colourful for the surroundings here and it's confusing at times in these complex detailed pictures which have to be studied closely to unravel what is happening.
  Axel - Dogboys 

Axel has also completed a notable series of 'Dogboy' images set in the slightly more organised world of leather. The 'master' in the background here seems rather more representative of that scene than the exceptionally beautiful and well groomed boys do. Their enforced suiting up and degradation to beastliness, performing sleazily for the amusement of their 'owner' seems full of psychological meaning which I couldn't attempt to unravel. I'm not a dog owner but imagine this scene has a very special meaning to someone who is.

  The last example is another barber image but I have chosen it for no reason other than the fact that I like it. The combination of vulnerability, danger and sensuality is very powerful. The seated man's  backward arching body is very sexy, not least with a razor poised across his throat. You can almost feel the cold leather seat touching his buttocks, reminding him of his nudity... ready for that paddle he seems to be holding. It's shape follows his bulge of excitement but not quite obscuring it. Rarely can the eroticism of the jockstrap garment have been so well captured as here.

I've not found a site for Axel's work yet (advice welcome).
 (article revised Dec 2015 with more images)
 click on the A-Z label for more pictures in this series
or use the artist index or search options (top right)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Powerful and delicious colors both barber pictures.