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Old 02-19-2018, 09:48 PM   #1
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Default Interview and art book about Joseph Farrel, extreme kink French illustrator

BDSM illustration fans will instantly recognize the distinctively kinky pencil illustrations of Joseph Farrel, a kind of sadistic Hogarth, with leering characters that looks like no one else. There are several posts on this thread devoted to him

Recently there's been a fine art book, published in French, devoted to his work. It has a lot of text about Farrel, about whom we've known next to nothing, other than that he's been drawing for decades.

There's an interview with the author/art critic who wrote the text, here:

dubbing him "the most extreme kink artist ever" -- me, I'm not sure about that, in fact I'm pretty sure that's he's not, but he's definitely out there.

Here's a bit of the interview, which is interesting for collectors and bibliophiles:

Q. Let’s start from the man himself. He had a rather prolific period in the Eighties, then his works dwindled to the point most people thought he had died; even the 2012 book looked like a posthumous collection featuring a bunch of apparently unfinished drawings. Now it turns out he was living in seclusion somewhere all along: what’s the actual story behind the disappearance? And, come to think of it, about the rest of his mysterious life?

A. All the drawings in the collection you mentioned were actually complete, but sometimes featured a new style developed in the twelve years since the previous Perversions. In addition the book was published on excessively light paper and went unnoticed, so I can understand why one could think that Farrel was dead. Here in France he was the victim of two things: first, the fall of the pornography industry to which he was linked. Less sex shops, fewer magazines. Both Farrel and his publisher believe that the appearance of DVDs has killed the public’s taste for books. The second element is the clear return of puritanism and self-censorship within the French society and in other European countries. The violence and absence of taboos in Farrel’s work certainly is no longer tolerable. Farrel is too outrageous for our current culture of consent. “Love shops” replace traditional sex shops. The sex trade is increasingly targeting women and urban couples. Farrel undermines it all. Pourquoi pleurent-elles?’s publisher had a hard time finding a printer. Many refused; one even reported him to the police! The publisher received the visit of the cops, was summoned by a judge and, since there was absolutely nothing reprehensible – these are only drawings, remember! – obviously there was no prosecution.

About Farrel, he continued to lead his discreet life, with his wife. He never knew how to show off. He never took himself seriously and therefore never sought to get out of the dying network of sex shops. He could have approached more traditional publishers. Farrel’s secret, which also explains the strength of his work, is that he never drew for a living. He had many jobs but he always drew for his own pleasure – and sometimes he executed private commissions which he sold at small prices elsewhere. He therefore continued to draw for himself, without lamenting further his disappearance in the publishing world.
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