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 :
— etranges images (@etrangesimages) 4 avril 2017
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 :
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.
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.