Martin of Holland has covered most aspects of fetish in his long career, but he is particularly noted for his highly explicit contributions to the more specialised arenas such as scat, mutilation and violent death. His best pictures have an arresting, sexual intensity that demands that you look, even if you are not sure you like what you see.
Martin of Holland - Fluid ExchangeMuch of his work is drawn in outline only but when adds shading or colour they acquire a striking sense of depth and the skin textures take on a soft sheen which is very sensual. 'Fluid exchange' shows the effect. This picture is unusually romantic for Martin, but even so, it oozes with lust while the cuffs and the hand grasping the back of the captive's head give a subtle 'edge'.
Tom's influence can be sensed here and also in the early '70's pictures which have bikers, sailors, woodland settings etc. and sometimes reinterpret Tom-like themes. Martin of Holland also has a similar story telling approach which causes you to linger and examine what is going on in the picture, although his 'stories' are usually infused with a sense of lust, fear or danger that Tom never employed.
Martin of Holland - Back Of My Truck
In 'Back of my Truck' which is later, the Latino captor has Kake's jawline and physique but the other characters are more typical of Martin of Holland's men. They have distinctive, sometimes angular faces, with prominent fleshy lips, snub noses and dark eyes. They bear a family resemblance to those of his Dutch compatriot Wilhelm Kok (Dorus). The bodies have a slender, long-limbed elegance of line and, though stylised, are more realistic in their proportions than the average muscle hunk drawing. In fact, Martin generally underplays the detail of musculature so that his men appear to have a youthful, natural appearance.
This scenario of the smooth, young captive apparently facing unpleasant treatment from an older, stronger man is pure Martin of Holland and a theme that recurs throughout his work evolving into something much stronger.
Martin of Holland - Enema
The same domination/youth education flavour is also present in 'Enema'. The artist formalises the irrigation process into an intimidating procedure using laboratory style tanks and industrial grade piping. He brings out the reactions of the 'patient' who though chained to the platform is free to writhe in his discomfort for the erotic pleasure of the hooded attendant. This work is a mild example of Martin of Holland's interest in things anal, which extends to scat and this theme becomes increasingly explicit in his later work.
Martin of Holland - Rent A Slave
In 'Rent a Slave', the youth (with attitude, judging by his haircut) has been transformed into an helpless sex object, his clothes ripped off and body strapped. His prospective partner is older and hyper-masculine. He exudes strength, debauchery and excess. The angular face we saw earlier on has evolved into an almost deranged, demonic appearance giving the picture a sinister atmosphere.
Martin of Holland - Buddies
Martin of Holland's pictures have the great virtue of simplicity, he tends to focus on one idea and portray it, and all it's erotic potential, explicitly and clearly. There may be multiple participants but they are all involved in the same process. Unlike other artists he glories in the reactions of the recipient (willing or not) of the treatment. This is particularly effective in scenes in which a group of male captives queue to suffer the same unpleasant fate. In the buddy 'event' shown here, two naked men relaxing in a domestic setting are attacked, apparently by intruders. The appealing eroticism of their arching bodies in the context of violence and danger is thought provoking and disturbing. When Martin of Holland chooses to visit more extreme areas he doesn't pull his punches, it is very explicit and in your face and portrayed in almost clinical detail.
Sadly, Martin died in 2011. I am grateful for his help in the preparation of this article.
His site at Ziggo has gone but you can find out more at Delft Boys
Martin's work can also be found at GMBA (see sidebar for link).
To see earlier posts in this series click A-Z in the label list below