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Wednesday 23 March 2016

A-Z of Fetish Artists - Vuri

My last ‘V’ is Vuri whose imagery treads a familiar yaoi path (or is it Hentai?) with youthful, sharp-featured protagonists that I normally shy away from, but there’s an edge in some of his work that does grab my attention. This first image has an element of intimacy and understatement that leaves room for the viewer to imagine what is happening. The interaction between the two main figures and their spatial positioning is captured rather convincingly despite some tricky perspectives. It makes for an image that is satisfying over and above its erotic ingredients

This example has similar qualities and the artist’s technical skill elevates a simple concept into something special. The stylish grey background and restrained palette bestows a sense of quality that the drawing would lack on its own. The economy of line and colour here is influenced by the artistic traditions of Japan. I like the use of clothing to emphasise the captive’s nudity but sadly, for me, the faces of the characters in these images are just too cartoony and too lacking in masculine maturity to allow a meaningful sense of power and control to develop.  

This picture sums up that issue even better. It’s another thoughtful invocation of power, domination and threat. I love the chunky rugby build of the captive, but these two look very boyish, the policeman almost girlish. Much of that stems from the way the eyes are drawn. It’s part of what this style is all about but to me it suggests an element of youthful play and experimentation that doesn’t gel with the visual evidence of real brutality.

That comment certainly can’t be made about this image of a prisoner receiving a visitor. The cartoon caricaturing has receded and it’s almost shocking in its frankness. This disturbing message is made all the more striking by the abundance of technical skills on display – figure drawing, colour, light. But there’s more than predicament in this image, the erotic content is restrained allowing you to sense deeply-felt emotion underneath. It has poured onto the paper through the artist’s hands. 

I have a weakness for medical scenarios which description seems to broadly fit this image although there is no obvious medical purpose to the set-up nor any medical personnel in attendance. The scrotum gripping milking tube is rather neat and the blue and white colouring conjures up a suitably austere, sanitary environment. It also has an interesting baby-fying effect on the patient’s skin tones.

Essentially this seems to be a modified tentacle image with all the pre-requisite leg-waving and probing. However the replacement of sentient beings with unthinking machines creates something quite different. The unnecessarily severe proportions of the mindless thrusting dildo and the ‘patients’ obvious distress go way beyond the normal scale of domination play. To me this is not erotic at all but raw and brutal. The question is - are we simply being invited to enjoy this young man’s predicament? Surely not. Or is the artist really trying to communicate a very personal representation of a young man’s undeserved suffering?

Look back at the previous picture and ask yourself the same question.
Does our appreciation of these pictures come from a recognition of something raw in ourselves?

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