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 :

Kurt Fleischer - art that makes the shadows speak
« Did you see the dra­wings by KurtFleischer ? »

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