Sunday, May 06, 2012

Skinless

I have just published, via Tumblr, an online version of The Sex Cantos, a limited edition book project I began working on more than a year ago. To quote the Artist's Note accompanying the images and texts:
"At the end of January, 2011, I took to my bedroom with a sketchbook, several dip pens and a bottle of black ink. For two weeks, I did nothing else but draw fragments of my sexual history. What I couldn’t draw accurately enough, I wrote, in a spidery cursive script on the backs of discarded pages. I had no references, no photographs, no preliminary sketches. I wanted to work from memory, from the residue of sensation imbedded in my skin.
"I didn’t want to think at all. My father had just died after a short but dreadful illness. I was prepared for his loss but not for the ragged chasm of sorrow that opened up within me. Always solitary, I found no comfort among my remaining family. Over the ensuing days, I was overwhelmed by an insidious, numbing grief.

"I don’t remember what prompted me to pick up a pen and begin to draw except that I wanted feel something again. I didn’t want any sex in my life then but it emerged as a raw impetus in the first few marks I made. Within a couple of hours, I had finished half a dozen drawings. I lay on the bare timber floor of my room, amid torn or crumpled paper and broken nibs, and masturbated for the first time in a few months.
"The thirty or more drawings that make up
The Flesh Eaters, the original title I gave the drawings, describe experiences with just one man, whom I shared with several women for nearly a decade. Needless to say, I love this man. Despite long periods apart from each other, I have remained faithful to him. And yet, from the outset of our relationship, I was able to admit and act upon a sexuality – and a sexual curiosity – that I had long suppressed. As I wrote, three years ago, in a post on this blog, 'When I asked him how he might feel if I wanted to have sex with a woman, it didn’t faze him. He’d lived enough that little surprised or shocked him… '
"Inevitably, this unbound intimacy insinuated itself into my art but never with quite the same urgency or explicitness as in
The Flesh Eaters. These intricate, close-ups of sex, which are everything but lubricious, might have been drawn from a futile impulse to deny death but they are unquestionably also an insistent affirmation of life.
"As for the words, the
Cantos, they fill in the gaps between the drawings. The fifteen twisted prose-poems (I am no writer) convey a little of the context and intense sensuality of the best-remembered moments. And, it has to be said, the uncertainty."
The talented writer and director, Amos Poe, once a leading light of New York's short-lived but influential No Wave movement, has contributed a wonderful foreword that offers an alternative but no less imaginative perspective of both the drawings and the texts.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello,
An interressing little piece, I like the concept and you honesty in both drawings and writings. I do not like your submissive position of "under dog" but I guess it helped you to learn about your senses.
After Alina Reyes sexual writing has much to compete to remain poetic and sensual.
Still very interresting concept and great drawings (I Thought of klimt and his student or Rodin.)
I wish you the best with the book.
ps. Art is limitless so are references.
bye, Charrlote.

C. said...

amazing...i love it