Kurt Flei­scher – art that makes the sha­dows speak

My rea­ders are well awa­re of the fact that I am constant­ly loo­king for artists to deco­ra­te my dark dwel­lings. And today I have the plea­su­re to reveal to you the name of the most recent contri­bu­tor to the sto­ck of illus­tra­tions from whi­ch the Bau­ge lit­té­rai­re draws its hea­der art. I am pre­sen­ting to you Kurt Flei­scher, a San Anto­nio based illus­tra­tor, and it has again been a tweet that put me on the road to dis­co­ve­ry. A tweet direc­ted to BD-Adul­tes, a pro­fi­le I have been fol­lo­wing for some time now :

Having seen the small pre­view pic­tu­re that came with the tweet, I got imme­dia­te­ly exci­ted and pre­pa­red to embark on an expe­di­tion toward Kurt Fischer’s digi­tal uni­ver­se. And my curio­si­ty, alrea­dy slight­ly rou­sed, chan­ged to full dis­co­ve­ry alert when I came across a pre­sen­ta­tion whe­re the bizar­re and the eccen­tric joi­ned up for a warm wel­co­me :

The Most High Auto­crat of The Elec­tric Straw­ber­ry, a one man illus­tra­tion & desi­gn stu­dio. Afi­cio­na­do of pop cultu­re & pulp art in all its forms.

So I was about to enga­ge, in the com­pa­ny of such an extra­or­di­na­ry fel­low, on a jour­ney towards lands filled with crea­tu­res as stran­ge as they were ravi­shin­gly beau­ti­ful, crea­tu­res who would very soon have put me under their spell of a stran­ge and bit­ter-sweet sen­sua­li­ty, a sen­sua­li­ty radia­ting from their often angu­lar fea­tu­res, from the play of the lines whi­ch, in spi­te of the appa­rent cla­ri­ty of the bla­ck and the whi­te, get blur­red befo­re the trou­bled eye, from the assaults of the sha­dows pro­po­sing to tra­vel in ima­gi­na­ry lands that hesi­ta­te to reveal them­sel­ves.

But behold, in order to bet­ter illus­tra­te the stam­me­ring of yours tru­ly, one of the finest pie­ces by Kurt Flei­scher, a zaf­tig beau­ty that spreads trou­ble and rai­ses a very storm of desi­re by making the eye fail and cra­sh befo­re the lur­king sha­dow (unless it is the sha­dow that attracts the eye and then absorbs he who wat­ched too eager­ly). A sha­dow like a bodi­ce that brings out the beau­ty of this well-roun­ded lady :

Kurt Fleischer, Zaftig beauty (beauté voluptueuse)
Kurt Flei­scher, Zaf­tig beau­ty

After Joe Peck, Kurt Flei­scher is the second ame­ri­can artist to make his trium­phant entry into my lair with a very per­so­nal inter­pre­ta­tion of the sub­ject that I pro­po­se to them all, the Beau­ti­ful rea­der. And I am very proud of this glo­ba­li­za­tion on a very per­so­nal level that allows me to let my rea­ders dis­co­ver the rich­ness of an art that, spread by the social net­works, more than ever aspi­res to uni­ver­sal signi­fi­can­ce.

Flei­scher’s Beau­ti­ful rea­der, and the same goes for a lar­ge num­ber of the ravi­shing crea­tu­res revea­led by his pen­cil, is not easy to decrypt. The eye of the behol­der, magne­ti­zed by the rich bush right in the cen­ter of the body, the pivo­tal point around whi­ch the world would like to revol­ve, stum­bles befo­re the clo­sed thighs, and the face – held pri­son­ner by a mane that recalls, with its swar­ming whi­te lines, dead­ly Medusa’s sna­kes – is an invi­ta­tion to contem­pla­te the means of brea­king into the fen­ces built around this drea­mer. A drea­mer that may be the willing prey of a les­bian lover attrac­ted to her by her recent rea­ding, on a jour­ney on whi­ch she embar­ked pre­pa­red, lea­ving nothing to chan­ce, dres­sed in her fish­net sto­ckings, in an effort to make it easier still to suc­cumb to her fan­ta­sies, to get her pus­sy eaten out by the luxu­rious crea­tu­res conju­red by her cra­vings.

Kurt Fleischer, Beautiful Reader / La belle Liseuse
Kurt Flei­scher, Beau­ti­ful Rea­der

The sty­le of this small illus­tra­tion is remi­nis­cent of the late 19th century’s wood­car­vings that immor­ta­li­zed the splen­dour of Salo­mé, Car­mil­la, Salamm­bô and all the other bel­les dames sans mer­ci that were the rage of the times and ins­pi­red the grea­test artists. Kurt Flei­scher does such a good job in ren­de­ring the spi­rit of the era that one can ima­gi­ne his her­me­tic crea­tu­re rocked by the rythms of a poem filled with a desi­re as sen­sual as it is dead­ly :

O lips full of lust and of laugh­ter,

Cur­led sna­kes that are fed from my breast,

Bite hard, lest remem­bran­ce come after

And press with new lips whe­re you pres­sed.

For my heart too springs up at the pres­su­re,

Mine eye­lids too mois­ten and burn ;

Ah, feed me and fill me with plea­su­re,

Ere pain come in turn.

(Alger­non Char­les Swin­bur­ne, Dolo­res (Notre-Dame des Sept Dou­leurs), 1866)

I invi­te you, my dear rea­ders, to pay a visit to Kurt Flei­scher, an excep­tio­nal artist that wields the pen­cil with an expert hand, in order to dis­co­ver a uni­ver­se that lets you tra­vel toward the depths of your own thoughts. And if you should ever be loo­king for someo­ne to illus­tra­te your wri­tings, I will give you here ano­ther sam­ple of his art, a sam­ple that reveals the rich­ness of this pen­cil vir­tuo­so who not only mas­ters the woman’s body to the point of res­to­ring its ori­gi­nal mys­te­ry, but capa­ble of crea­ting a sce­ne­ry that makes one rea­ch out for the subli­me.

Kurt Fleischer, La Chasse (The Hunt)
Kurt Flei­scher, The Hunt

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