Its that time of year in Berlin again… I can smell it in the air. The fetishists will be descending on our city this month in droves for their annual sojourn to indulge in pushing the limits of their fantasies and desires at all of the venues gay Berlin has to offer.
A bit of history here first – Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco was founded in 1984 and then almost 20 years later, Folsom EU held its first street fair in Berlin in September 2003.
With its roots in the Tom of Finland big booted kind of guys, through the past years this international festival has grown to include many other facets of the gay fetish world – just to name a few this list includes – Rubber, Bondage, Slave or Puppy & Master, and with the more recent growing popularity of men’s health and fitness – naturally Sneakers & Sportswear have worked their way into the mix as well.
Celebrating this rich history in our gay culture, artist Felix d’Eon from Mexico City cleverly paints sensual fetish fantasies in his trademark vintage style. He portrays iconic and sexy figures in their natural habitat outfitted in leather and all the other trappings we have come to associate with this international pilgrimage. But he says, „unlike the art of Tom of Finland, whose work is a celebration of the outlaw status of queer sexuality, my work seeks to normalize the marginal.“
BB: How did your style of art evolve to your signature ‚vintage‘ look … if I can call it that ?
Fd’E: I always had the dream of making ‚vintage‘ style paintings on gay themes, that would speak to a queer sensibility using a familiar and even nostalgic language inspired by old comic books, children’s illustrations, and the like. A few years ago I was asked to design flyers for my friends at a nightclub called “Oh! The party for the dirty gentleman.” I invented my vintage style then, and loved it so much I have worked with it ever since! It is filled with possibilities, which I have not nearly exhausted.
BB: What is the significance of the Japanese text here and what do some of them say?
F d’E: I have a whole series of paintings inspired by Japanese art. I am deeply in love with Japan and all things Japanese, and have been perfecting a Japanese style of painting for many years. I felt that the Japanese aesthetic, which is redolent of flowers and poetry, would contrast beautifully with bondage and leather themes; the two would play off one another and give greater sharpness to both. For the poetry, I work with a Japanes poet who lives here in Mexico City who writes the poetry inspired by my paintings, with very little input from me. In general, they are double entendres, describing nature in traditional Japanese style, but when contrasted with the paintings suddenly take on rather, um, dirty meanings.
BB: How did you get started painting leather-fetish-bondage ?
F d’E: I wanted to introduce more contemporary themes to my paintings, while keeping to my vintage style, and felt that the uniforms and drama of leather and bondage imagery would contrast beautifully with my sweet and antique style. These costumes in bondage gear are timeless, in a way, and suits the style of my work very well.
Artist’s website: www.felixdeon.com
Black Boot for Boner Magazine