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Message updated 25th June 2023

Friday 6 May 2016

A-Z of Fetish Artists - Waelon

Randy Waelon produced extraordinary pictures in the 90’s showing deadly conflicts and tortures involving knives, spears, arrows, stakes and similar pre-industrial weaponry. Most of it is too extreme for this blog although it would pass without comment in a Hollywood film.

This chariot example is one of his milder images conjuring up a fantasy of primitive enslavement. His characters exhibit lean muscularity and distinct but varied ethnicities which are well-observed and without any hint of caricature. Are these two hapless explorers who have fallen into the hands of some secret group with their own unique customs and values? This type of storyline gets a bad press because of its mistaken assignment to certain parts of the ‘undeveloped’ world. We all know that real life ‘lost tribes’ seem to be peaceful and friendly to point of naivety. But the theme of encountering the possibly hostile unknown has a universal significance and these days it’s more likely to re-appear dressed up in post-holocaust trappings. It works fine as an allegory of entering gay life and other unpredictable ‘social worlds’.

Waelon drew a notable set of images showing similar tribesmen in a jungle setting, dressed only in loincloths and meeting gruesome ends in battle or captivity. 
The absence of any overt eroticism in these pictures places them in a distinct category which arguably has nothing to do with fetish at all, but who can fathom the human mind?

His output is not restricted to such Tarzanesque fantasies; there are examples of modern settings and black ethnicity too, which is depicted above with an uncompromising but inoffensive authenticity and authority that only an insider could carry off. This is a detail of a larger picture.

Stylistically Waelon has the skills of a professional illustrator and the attention to detail (like the neck of the captive above) shows a preoccupation with realism that goes beyond, in fact goes against, the normal requirements of erotica. 

I can’t find any reference to him on the web and the challenging nature of his imagery means that public postings don’t stay around long , you may track him down in membership groups like GMBA (see sidebar).

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