Visual Riddles

I take my cock very seriously.
Maybe not yours, that’s why you wouldn’t understand, but mine is linked to my brain. The Brain makes me walk into situations that feed my emotions.
Of course it’s not just the cock that stimulates my brain and imagination. But I can’t (yet?) make sculptures about a poem, about the wind that touches my skin, the breathing of my lover into my ear while he sleeps, as they too speak to me.

Contrary to folklore myths, the cock doesn’t have a brain of its own. It feels like that if you want to blame something on it.

My inspiration roams through the corridors of human nature and when they hit a target, they become visual images in my mind.
My hands try to give an exterior form to that image. I draw, I sculpt them.
From exterior input, sieved through my own being, these ideas, voices, become something visible, tangible. But they themselves refer not to the exterior, superficial image of life. They echo my emotions and thoughts and try to do the same with yours. They’re merely an interface and you should not try to “decode” my works and “understand” me. Communication between us is communication between lives. Whatever my work shows, let it sparkle your personal ideas and emotions.
If I wanted to be decoded, I’d publish a puzzle. My work is a visual riddle: I present you with an image. Scrap away the surface, observe your mental and emotional reaction hanging inside your interior space.

Most of my works depict the male sex organ or men engaged in what apparently (or evidently) is homo-sex or homo-tenderness. It is my natural way of depicting the (possible) relationship between men.
If you look closer and often enough, you’ll start to see that every cock can tell a story, can have a “personality”.
The cock drawings and sculptures I make, speak of that. Don’t let the sight of a cock scare or revolt you. When you hold yours in your hand, it feels natural. Your own saliva feels natural in your mouth, why does someone else’s feel weird?
Is it the social & cultural construction engraved in our minds that tell us how to feel and what to think? Is it the temporary Norm-al taking over the eternal Natural?

I sculpt two men having sex. The attention, if you want to drink the sap of my sculptural fruit, should go to details: the hands, how do they grab, push, cling to? The feet, how to they sustain, how are the toes contortioned? The back curve, what does it speak about?
Ask these question (with your eyes and with your touch, in the case of the statues) and answer them with your ideas, your emotions. Yours, not the Norm’s.

Evolution depends on reproduction. It’s no surprise that when we have more than sufficiently guaranteed for the survival of the human animal, other factors come into play: the reaction to epidemics, to societies, cultures, morals. We, as animals, have these factors to respond to, as we now, mostly have (or could all have) a bread on the table, not die in child birth or because a finger infection.
So what’s to become of the human reproductive organs? They’re (still) vital, but really?…
How often do we masturbate, abort? Not sure this happened when the planet was only populated by few tribes of human apes.
Sexuality is trying to tell us something. Sex is migrating from the basic function of reproduction to various types of pleasures. Fetish, role playing, controlling (others), becoming addicted, getting exhausted, justifying submission or brutality, dyeing because and “thanks” to the sex behavior.
My art works touch on that, can you see behind the forms do you want to receive the riddles?

To help you take the time and play with these ideas and feelings, my sculptural works are small. Some are Celtic-repetitive in design, functioning like a visual mantra that will push you into the endless abyss of meditation.
You need to slow down your frantic mind buzz, grab a small, netsuke-like object in your hand, train observation, feel the weight of a miniature, the texture, how it touches your palm skin.

It’s not a new idea, the Chinese, thousands of years ago, were already making these small visual poems in wood, ivory, bone, jade, other semi-precious stones.
Much later the European monks were carving boxwood balls and using beads, just like Arabs do, to focus their mind on a certain meditation.
Small artistic gems depicting crucifixions have flooded the (Western) world for 1500+ years. Pretty uni-dimensional in subject, if you asked me.
Art, especially the Queer Art I’m making, want to speak of other type human stories, the ones that touch me and you. Artists speak of your life, the media only documents it, often in a distorted, edited way.
It’s not just a man loving another man, it’s a human loving another. It’s the rapport between two men, from friendship, love, care, violence, competition. It’s of course, not about reproduction, the primordial purpose of coitus. That’s behind us; we can evolve using all these tools of understanding ourselves and each other, Sex and Art being just some of them.

A Man back in the glory days of Greek philosophy said: “know thyself”.
He didn’t say love yourself, hate yourself for what you think you know about yourself. Start with knowing, without judging. There will be plenty out there offering this service for free, judging you, as they don’t like to judge themselves.


My Etsy shop intro

Im slowly opening a shop on Etsy, I wrote the “About”. Here it is:

A Wabi-sabi Queer Sculptor, Draughtsman and Poet

In 1973 the musicians united under the banner Queen released “A Night at the Opera”, an LP which changed the face of music and still reverberates in many corners of our lives (even if you’re not fully aware of that).
I mention this because the 70 was the decade of electronic instruments infusing the way music was composed. Queen’s LP coyly stated: “no synthesizers”.

Large paintings, huge statues, installations are the must of contemporary art. Take a distance to grasp the whole image, cover your wall with one painting, walk through a landscape to experience an installation trying to mix with nature. The Art Language moves on, like much else.

In some ways, my works are not new: detailed drawings, small, detailed statues have been made before, much more amazing than mine.
However, my works are in many ways unique. The subjects shake the hetero-normative views of what Art can be about. Such subject have “slapped” the face of the Academy before. But on top of that, I speak of what physical interaction between two or more men can represent. I need to explain this.
If you walked the street and saw a man on his knees blowing another man (or even a photograph of that), most probably your first reaction would be “Obscene! Pornographic!”
In order to keep the story as short as possible (more can be read in my books), I’ll say that my first thought would be “that’s a different kind of hand shake” or “one offers gratitude to another and implicitly to himself”.
Probably society will not think like that very soon. But Art Language can go way ahead of what morals and rules determine as kosher.
As sex between two men does not have the function of reproduction, and hedonism is too much of a philosophy to reduce to a short paragraph, I say that the Art that I speak, out of natural impulse and passion, is the Language I use to describe this Other function(s) of sex between men.
If you indulge in my Art and writings, you’d find out that sex for me is far from being a weekend, uni-dimensional way of spending time and getting pleasure. That doesn’t mean I judge anyone who does so, I don’t think they’re lesser than me. Judging other people’s lives, labeling and boxing them is a gigantic waste of time! Observing and understanding any manifestation that takes place in (human) Nature, is a different matter.

My statues are small. They don’t have a pedestal, they don’t function as museum statues or objects that you buy and place on top of your furniture.
Pinocchio’s father, Geppetto, hold his creation in his hands. You can do that with my statues. They are made to be hold in your hands. Their details are whispers. If every time you take some minutes and look at one piece and you hear and see something new, it’s a reflection on your personal change. And you can benefit from seeing how one object, which didn’t change from the last time you looked at it, actually reflects the change in you. You have a new thought about what you see, that’s because your mind and spirit keeps in motion.
This is why Art, even one piece, should it belong to you, is inviting moments of meditation, moments of contemplation.
There’s much more to say, of course, about the Wabi-sabi in my “name” and its traces and hints in my works. Or about the Queer mission I adopted, as I think each Artist should be on a social mission, his/her responsibility towards the talent the Artist has. Because talent is a power and each power comes with responsibilities.

The Writing on the (toilet) Wall – Kindle is out

the kindle version of my book is online. Revised, with additions.
If pornograffiti, toilet art, haiku and poems that talk about the “immoral” mind of some of us queers is your cup of tea (pun intended), treat yourself to one. Just so you know, out of those 5 US$ only one goes to me.
And you could say to your friends “hey, I do support an artist, he’s gonna buy a new pencil now”. Hmm, maybe I shouldnt try sarcasm, not many appreciate it.
However, your purchase will help boost my morale. I know almost everyone needs morale boosting, but they won’t pay you more if I call your office 2x a day, will they?

A review of my book

This is a book review from someone I don’t personally know, I didnt pay or suck his dong to write this. It humbled me! (good deeds always do that)

Vulgarity, what does it mean? Wikipedia denotes vulgar as common, coarse, unrefined. So who makes those decisions? Who is it that decides what is vulgar, what can be vulgar, and what can be excluded as vulgar? Vulgarity is so often a personal perception, though it can also be a communal, even national one.

As far as creativity is concerned, vulgarity is an unfocused area, one that often shifts and meanders depending on the artist and their perspective. Some artists use common perceptions of vulgarity in order to emphasise a point, others to underline an assumption, others still, use vulgarity to set a scene, and yet others embrace vulgarity as a necessity, an integral part of the human condition. That is the space that Mon Graffito takes up in his latest book The Writing On The (Toilet) Wall.

We are all flesh and blood, we are all physical in our make up, our character, our essence. To pretend otherwise is delusional at best, dysfunctional at worst. Our needs, our urges, our drives are not evil, tainted, or inappropriate. When it comes to sex, those needs, urges, and drives are integral to our character, to our physicality.

We are sexual creatures by nature, it is an integral part of the glory of who we are. Why then should it be seen as something less than, something hidden, something not talked about in polite society? Should we not revel in our sexuality, as much as we revel in our thoughts and in our actions? Mon Graffito takes the discomfort that many feel towards the public exclamation of sex and sexuality, and writes it on the wall, on the toilet wall to be specific.

There is a long history of messages, assignations, meetings arranged on the toilet wall. Public toilets have been ‘haunts for depravity’ since there were such things as public toilets. Gay sexuality in particular used the public toilet system as connection points for intimacy, places for the sanctity of sex, cathedrals of need, urge, and drive.

Mon Graffito has taken that history of sanctity and used it as the essence for this book. As he terms it himself, it is a book of: “…sleazy graffiti, drawings and immoral poems and some colourful pages, from cave paintings to Mon Graffito.” This is a writer that revels in the physicality of life, and in particular, the physicality of sex. The book is strewn with illustrations of the enjoyment of sex, whether singly, as couples, or groups. All are relevant, important and vital. They are a glorification of what it is to be alive, and what it is to feel that life pulsing through and out of you.

Mon Graffito’s poetry cascades across the book. There are encounters, reminiscences, thoughts. There is humour, sadness, analogies and moments, all part of the cavalcade of life whether Mon’s or the readers. All of us understand that our lives are full of moments, scenes, vignettes. Some are tender, some are fumbling, some are full on train wrecks, but they all go to make up who we are, and who we are to others.

Reading through this book, you soon begin to realise that the vulgarity that you perceived is actually an illusion. The spit, sperm, piss that are an integral part of the illustrations and poetry of the book, are also an integral part of who we are. They are all bodily fluids, part of the essence of being alive, being vital, being human, they are not grotesque travesties, they are warm, connective, collaborative.

The Writing On The (Toilet) Wall is not a book to be dismissed lightly. It is an important reminder that we are rooted in the earth. Yes, we may well have lofty ambitions of touching the heavens, that is admirable, but we should never forget that we will always have, and must always have, one foot firmly rooted in the mud of the physical. We are guts and bones, the expansive and the pumping. We are the needs, urges, and drives of the physical body, we are the spit, sperm, piss, and shit of life. If we forget that, or refuse to integrate that into our lives, then we lose the ability to be human.

Vulgarity is common, course, unrefined, and long may it continue to be so.

The author has made it clear to me that he is more than welcome for comments to be emailed to him, whether they be comments of celebration or outrage, all are good to him.

The Writing On The (Toilet) Wall can be purchased