deluckas13Untitled (2018)

There’s this delightful sense of yin and yang balance to this image.

Imagine there’s a diagonal line dividing the frame from the lower left to upper right; note: how with the exception of the highlight on the shoulder & back of the arm in the upper left corner, almost everything in the upper portion of the frame is composed of shadow to midtones (with heavy preference given to shadow areas); in the lower part of the frame it’s the inverse mostly highlight but hints of mid-tones, too.

I also really dig how the area of shadow at the left of the frame suggests a right pointing triangle–which strengthens the urge for the viewer’s gaze to move from left to right across the image. This in turn conveys a sense of the extended tongue slowly advancing over highlight-blown, pale skin.

There’s a second triangle formed between the slightly parted lips, tongue and shoulder grasping hand at frame right–which forms a roughly up pointing triangle. (This is part of why the image reads as if the tongue is being dragged upward and not downward.)

It’s nice how the image begins with the darkness of the underlit separation between bodies; whereas, the grasping hand at the right seems to merge two bodies into something singular and inseparable.

Plus, it’s really great how this is technically ‘gram safe–attending to the letter of the law while flipping both middle fingers in the direction of the the spirit of that law.

Most impressive, however, is the rare care both in underscoring the voyeurism inherent in the image as well as telegraphing that you are welcome to watch but this isn’t for the viewer or about the viewer so much as the viewer is just being allowed to see something and they should be grateful for the glimpse.

Inside FleshHostage (2011)

Suka Off is a Poland-based artist collective founded by visual/performance artist Piotr Wegrzynski.

The second member of the collective is Wegrzynski’s partner philologist and performance artist Sylvia Lajbig.

For all intents and purposes, Inside Flesh is the arm of Suka Off concerned with the production of explicit pornography.

Inside Flesh is a mixed bag. They insist upon unity of medium and message in porn; eschew mainstream porn.

A lot of words get bandied about with regard to their work: dark, kink, fetish. All lazy designations. The work Inside Flesh makes fixates on the violence of physicality. Depictions of intercourse are reduced to a visual amalgamation of genitals, erogenous zones all while imposing a rigid post-human mechanical anonymity.

I appreciate the attention to detail, the seamlessly glitchy/degraded production aesthetic. Further, a good bit of their work I have explored, not only embraces but emphasizes the potential beauty of the viscous effluvia accompanying human carnality.

It’s interesting that in its mission to counter the inconsistent production ethos of mainstream porn and in it’s implicit critique of the tendency of said industry to reduce expressions of sexuality to a field of grinding, thrusting genitals, Inside Flesh actually recreates much of the insipid repetition they claim to oppose.

All that being said, in spite of my general objection to the decontextualization of close-ups, I really do like this image. The sickly light emanating from what appears to be florescent tubes glaring off the coloration mottling the swollen glans, the saliva wet texture of the curled tongue and toothy pearl glint.

Those who peruse what I write will be aware of how much I loathe fucking gratuitous/illogical use of portrait orientation.

I never tire of calling that bullshit out. But, for the sake of avoiding redundancy and not beating a dead horse on the subject, I am going to henceforth distill these criticisms to a pithy hash tag: #skinnyframebullshit.

#skinnyframebullshit should be applied here. Further, the awkwardness is compounded by the top frame line’s amputate the young woman’s legs. (And if one was inclined toward hair splitting: an argument can be made that with the angle of light it would’ve been preferable to swap the position of her head and feet.)

Even with these shortcomings, I dig this image a lot. Mainly because it dodges the usual questions of subject/object and exhibitionism/voyeurism back loaded into visual depictions of masturbation. It has the sort of masturbation as punk rock/do it yrself sex positive vibe I adore.