Since March I’ve been working on a book regarding the almost lost restroom (public toilets) culture. Here’s a bit why:
As a teenager (back in the day) I sometimes entered public toilets. They used to have them in parks and some streets, the stairs descending underground. There was not much of a maintenance, people had a bit more respect for public property.
What surprised and amused me were the funny drawings and texts left on walls above the urinals or cabin doors. Both straight and gay themed caricatures. My interest in man to man sexuality budded much much later.
Those images were like cave paintings, which put me “in touch” with other people, told me about their thoughts, desires, people who shared a funny joke.
You need to understand that before the internet and porn tsunamis on Western culture such stuff was rare. Im talking about Europe, probably the Americas were ahead of us, though the West, thanks to the religious (imposed) beliefs, always regarded sex as shameful, sinful, sexual desires and fantasies as abominable.
Apart from the sex message in itself, the drawings, most of them childish, turned those toilets in a sort of amusement park – museum.
Out on the streets spray graffity (which arrived in the early 80s!) were doing something else.
I thought: what if this graphic/text culture went on developing itself, bringing more drawing and poetic skill to the walls? But most city toilets these days are sanitized to the max.
Based on some “primitive” artists, mostly anonymous but Keith Haring, Palanca, even Michelangelo and DaVinci (both gays) to name a few, I started drawing these pornograffitis.
One major remark is that I see sex between men as a power struggle. Oscar Wilde said: everything in the world is about sex, except sex. Sex is about power. (I subscribe)
Just like the Japanese shunga drawings (exaggerated cock sized Japanese men enjoying women with gigantic pussies wearing beautiful kimonos), if the art itself gets to a certain artistic level, you stop thinking “yak, that’s pornography!”.
This book, not finished yet, is a collection of drawings, some to pencil color yourself, and haikus or short poem-like writings even longer gay-themed poems that speak of lust, love, and power expressed in sexual form.
I will post a number of these pages. You will notice a “girlish” handwriting of some texts, it’s done on purpose, text can be an image in itself.
I dont like the shit word, at least fuck has better neural connections. But shit expresses better disgust and fear.
The truth is, you scare the shit out of me and I scare the shit out of you and life gets better apps but social life doesnt get better at all. And social is not a notion out there, disconnected from you and me.
But we say “shit, there’s nothing I can do about, better turn on netflix and play with my…” whatever it is you’re playing with. And it’s true, very few are cut to carry the banner of change. But even that person may look stupid, if nobody else follows him/her.
ok, too much now.
Remember “metadata”? It’s the stuff FB and Google and all the apps collect from us, because we offer them. And they turn that into money, into the pulse of this dying body called society.
What you could do, before turning on (better off!) the tv is blog and reblog news that scare you, words that tell about your anger and frustration. No need to write a story like this. Just type a list of words like “fuck you Trump” etc. The engines pick that up and the charts of anger go up and there’s a moment when at least the anonymous hackers and Mr Robot will act on that.
Hillary has people who pay for this info because she tries somehow to say the words you need to hear. Until she gets elected. There is no ending, sorry that Beyonce doesnt tell you about that: you need to fight for your life, for your well being, for the people you love, every day of your life.
And since the stuff you post online will remain longer than the plastic bags we throw away in forests (which is 300 years), at least the future will know that you have at least tried.
50x60cm oil on grouted canvas
inspired by one of the Fayum portraits, this man actually existed +/- 2500 years ago. It was a moving experience to paint him, my tribute to a face that refuses to be forgotten.
40×40 cm oil
50x70cm oil painting