With Instagram recently deleting my account due to nudity, and Patreon suspending my account due to posting what they consider pornography, I’ve had time to reflect on what got me here.
When I was a prepubescent boy Dad had a Playboy book of Vargas girls on the bookshelf (I still have this book on my bookshelf today). It features an amazing collection of watercolour and airbrush pin-up girls by Peruvian-American Artist Alberto Vargas. I also had a book of sci-fi art by Chris Foss (I also still have this book on my bookshelf today) that had one single erotic piece in it.
Throughout my teens my mother was a fashion designer and I had stacks of Italian VOGUE magazines at my disposal. I’d rip out pages of photos of nude supermodels taken by some of the greats of fashion photography and plaster them all over my walls and ceilings. Photos of Linda Evangelista, Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Cindy Crawford, and Christy Turlington taken by Photographers Herb Ritts, Rankin, Helmut Newton, Ellen von Unwerth, Annie Leibovitz and Mario Testino.
In high school I lined up to meet Elle Macpherson (I was obsessed with her!) and I painted a series of oil paintings of fashion models for my year 12 major artwork. At the same time, or even earlier, I was also fascinated by sex in art.
At book shops I’d always make a bee line to the art section where I discovered the amazing surreal art of Salvador Dali, the erotic ALIEN artwork of H.R. Giger and Hajime Sorayama’s sexy robot girls. At the time, Guns N’ Roses’ Appetite for Destruction was a massive influence on my life and the album featured a controversial “robot rape” artwork by Artist Robert Williams on the inner sleeve (they sold over 30 million copies, but the artwork was banned at some point).
From 2006-2009 I actually ran a very successful website with my then partner called “Sex in Art” where we featured erotic art for many years. Sadly it was hacked at some point, and I failed to get it back online (it still upsets me to this day). You can still view it with Wayback Machine though. Click here to check it out.
As a young professional Graphic Designer I was inspired by the work of Photographer Terry Richardson (I lived next door to a Sisley store in Darlinghurst, and they had massive prints of model Josie Maran squirting cow juice on her face in the window which I would pass every day) and also the Photography of Natacha Merritt (who I would eventually meet in real life in Melbourne where she was a speaker at the 2002 AGIdeas conference. I also interviewed her for ZEN Garage blog in 2012).
It’s been a fun trip down memory lane, and I now more clearly understand how I’ve developed some of my photographic style.