Seminal art and design

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Fountain (2011) by John Coulthart.

seminal, a. and n.

A. adj. Of or pertaining to seed; of the nature of seed.

1. a. Of or pertaining to the seed or semen of men and animals (applied Phys. and Anat. to structures adapted to contain or convey semen); of the nature of semen.

Oxford English Dictionary

The Dirty Comics exhibition curated by Jon Macy opens today in San Francisco so here at last is my non-comics contribution to Jon’s erotic art show. This is something I’d had in mind for a while so it was good to have the opportunity to actually tackle the thing, and also have an outlet for it outside this website. Below I explore some of the intent and inspiration which led to the piece.

Creating some sort of gay erotica was an idea I’d had in mind for a while but it suffered from the usual syndrome whereby work with no immediate outlet gets shunted aside by the pressure of paid commissions and ongoing personal projects. It’s also the case that pieces of work I create for myself I tend to want to sell or see reproduced via a service such as CafePress. The trouble is that most of those services are based in the US which means they’re subject to that tiresome puritan attitude towards sexual content: anything other than “artistic” nudity is forbidden at CafePress, and the same applies to many other self-publishing services. There are outlets for gay erotica but I’ve not had chance to explore the best options. If anyone has any tips then please leave a comment.

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This angel figure was something I’d drawn back to 2008 when I’d made a start on a similar work which fell by the wayside. One of the great things about computer graphics is being able to work on part of something which can then be picked up later and dropped into a new composition.

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So the intention was to produce a follow-up to the Dodgem Logic cover I created last year which presented a same-sex take on various Art Nouveau stylisations. The figures above are from one of the early drafts which takes a border design from Alphonse Mucha’s Documents Decoratifs (below), a series of sample borders and frames Mucha produced for the use of artists and designers.

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