Eric Kroll's fetish girls.
emember old-fashioned sex? the thick rubber of it. The rubber and the leather and the lace and the steel. All on the outside. This was before piercing got in the fashion magazines of the world, this was before you could find vinyl undies on the shelf at your grocers, this was before porn got on TV and the Orwellian Sex is Death slogans filled your newspapers.
They had it good then, thats what we always end up saying: no matter what. Now weve got some kind memory left and the photos to back it up. Eric Kroll did those photos for us, maybe he lived it all for our sins too. Surely he lived it all himself a lot more than us, but his photos are there for our taking now and we can all have them and cherish them as our own pretended memory.
The newly released Taschen book, Eric Krolls Fetish Girls, is another masterpiece for this german publishing company with a straight and simple marketing line : cheap art books of impeccable manufacturing filled to the brim with pictures and a small informative text in french, english and german. Other titles in the series include Bunny Yeager, Beefcake, Pop art and Tom of Finland. All good, all cheap, all recommended.
Of course, what was just plain sex deviancy then is Art now. Weve come to accept the representation of human desires and dreams, aspirations, however crude or abnormal or unspeakable they may be, as bona fide art. And artists have become freer to unleash on the canvas, film, video, their visions of a reconstructed world that, more than it ever did, revolves around the self, the body, the violence and its pleasure. Eric Kroll didnt do it as Art. He did it as a way of life, making his dreams come true and selling them to us, the needy. And we need Art, even if its only because it doesnt have to hide within the bottom drawers of our desks.
Eric Kroll is a macho man, with his big mustache, he shapes women into coffee tables. He is a sixties guy with his mopped hair, like Lee Hazlewood, he turns sweet young things in shiny plastic objects and hampers their walking. He also turns himself into an admiring slave, ready for redemption he abandons his head to the strentgh of womens arms.
You wont see the fleshy obvious here, it is always hidden under near opaque underwear or black patent leather; but its there, you feel it, its presence is all over the pop coloured shots, its all over you, baby blue : The almighty devouring sexual body of the human beast is here, kept under close watch, behind strong garments of leather, on a leash, patient and sneering.