The Writing on the (Restroom) Wall –

– a book of pornograffiti, haikus and gay related poems

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.

Bethlehem, 1 BC

And then, the third time he pushed, Joseph felt he was inside. The expression on the girl’s face turned from scared to being relaxed with confidence and surprised by the new feeling. Joseph was careful not to harm her. Being her first time, Joseph knew this was an important moment for her future life.

His father took Joseph to the brothel when time came to become an adult. The women taught him how to use a meeting for both partners’ pleasure or just to relax and feel rejuvenated. They also told him how to get a woman pregnant. By now Joseph knew this too well as he has been married before and fathered two daughters. He was touching thirty now and still missing his wife, his first and great love. She hasn’t had the chance, before her early death, to give him a son and it was a man’s task to seek bringing a male into the world.

Mary was barely 13. She was promised by her father, according to the rituals, when she was 12. Joseph and Mary were not married yet, that’s why this meeting took place in secret. Her father brought Mary to her cousin’s house all wrapped in black, when the sun was low, shadowing through the streets to avoid being seen. Women were not allowed to walk alone in the late hours of the afternoon. Joseph came later; he didn’t want to compromise Mary and her family. It was agreed that if Mary could not get pregnant, she would not be up for marriage.

Joseph lifted the veil from Mary’s body. He wanted to look at her. She blushed. The view of a naked body pleased him and helped him took the cues from the girl’s responses. The memory of his departed wife was struggling inside his heart. He stopped the falling by shifting his attention back into the present, knowing that no one can replace no one. Instead, he hoped that Mary would get pregnant and this time would be a boy.

He remembered what his master carpenter taught him when he was still an apprentice: put all your heart into what you do, release all other thoughts from your mind and your chances to succeed will be greater.

His master was a taught man, he travelled East, came back with stories of peoples who were more enlightened than Joseph’s kind.

“When you are hungry, think of something you would like to eat. Visualize that object, carve in wood the details. An apple, a fish. You will see how hunger will leave you for a while, until you have the chance to dine.” This taught Joseph not only how to elude hunger but gave him the idea of making wooden toys which later brought him many rich clients. Simple people needed a piece of furniture or a tool for work. Rich people could afford toys for their children and Joseph carved and painted them like no one else in his village or around. He hoped to have a son, to teach him all the skills, maybe to send him to the Eastern places and let him learn from the source, from the wiser people. He had the means now to keep his family happy and make sure his son would get a better future. If only Mary would get pregnant, and with a boy.

He was still looking at her, touching her soft coloured skin with his strong palms. His toys were almost this soft. Mary put the scare behind her and seemed to enjoy this new feeling of being with a man. She was obviously not skilled in the art but Joseph helped her surrender to her instincts. With his fingers he was drawing shapes on her belly, imagining a little boy growing in her womb. In his mind he was talking to this boy, calling him to life. Mary knew all about the marriage deal and for a moment she broke away from her pleasure, reading Joseph’s facial thoughts. But he felt immediately the tension in her body and moved his smiling eyes to meet hers, to give her confidence, to make her trust him. By this time he felt he was reaching the point of climax and sent another thought to the child in heavens, who was waiting for a couple to welcome him. His body shook with trance, Mary felt something was happening but this time she knew it was good, seeing Joseph in such pleasure.

It was like he was giving birth to something, as the moment was exhausting him in an unseen way. He then fell next to her, still holding his hand on her belly, breathing hard, grabbing her closer to his very warm body. He wasn’t saying anything, just breathing and slowly caressing her. She felt naked again, instinctively covering her breasts with one hand, the other going down between her legs, as she felt a juice oozing out of her. Her cousin told her about the man’s seed, that she needed to keep it inside.

Then Joseph lay her head on his chest. Are you all right, he whispered, did I hurt you?

She answered but wasn’t sure the words really came out of her mouth: I’m fine. You were an angel.

Even Arnold is back

Schwarzenegger said “I’ll be bAkk” and he is, back on the canvas. Im back on the blog.

It’s been a year and a half since my last post. Im not sure if anyone reads this. No matter how important your writings are (and I dont claim mine are), very few people find you online, very few people read. Should I just type the inner voice that speaks to me right now, wearing the blogger hat?

Recently Ive been out of the house in a very populated place. It was a restaurant where I sometimes display my works. Unlike galleries, which are not my cup of tea for reasons that dont matter now, I went there and invited people over, offering drinks. My way of repaying the restaurant owner.

At one point I was talking to someone and I caught myself thinking: what an old guy! The way he looked and the way he thought. Then I realized that my papers say Im older than he was. My point is: I dont know about you, but my voice that speaks in my head right now, with the “spirit” attached to that, doesnt feel any age. I need to look in the mirror to realize Im no longer 20, I need to try to pick up something that fell on the floor… Or see a young person giving me that “fuck off grandpa” look.

However, I notice all this, how the world changes around me at a speed that very few can grasp, and yet live in my world, inside my feelings, connecting with very few but very important people for me, working what I love the most (plus the house-chores which I dont like but feel proud of myself that I can do them without being pissed off. Duty, discipline, if it comes from the inside, is a treasure. – if discipline comes from the outside, it’s a tiranny).

Ive been working a lot during this time, sold a little but there we go. I still develop as artist and even if I were a complete Goya, for instance, getting the public’s attention is a different matter.

Next posts will be a combination of images of my works and some words, now and then.

Art illiteracy

The Art of Painting and Drawing can be seen as a language. One needs to learn to speak and understand it.
On one hand, the writers: They need talent, inspiration, practice, and patience, which is the result of love in this case.
Then, the readers: the more one understands a language (that also takes learning and doing a lot of reading), the more one can appreciate it.
Some people write news articles, or sms-es. These are generally understood by everyone. The visual art equivalent would be street art (Banksy for instance), or a cute scribble/drawing made by someone who picked up the pencil just a minute before and has a simple story to tell. The public who stops at this kind of appreciation misses what visual art has still to offer: the Shakespeares, the Haikus, the (Slam) Poetry.
Art is open to everyone, to produce, to appreciate. But to transmit a feeling, to share a personal view of life, both training, love for the “job” and great patience is necessary. To understand the value of the visual art and grow from it, one needs to understand the language and take the time to observe it. Most of these “virtues” are neither taught nor encouraged by the society.
Basically, I wrote the same thing twice, using different words. This, for instance, is a “writing strategy”. All this and more must be learned from the betters.
Art without a public cannot exist. Artist without art cannot exist. Everyone loses.