Octopussies is a series of pencil drawings based on 3d rendered human forms.
When I became a teenager I started drawing a lot of women. Gone were motifs from Duckburg and Metropolis and in came a wide range of stern looking females – often bearing longswords, but not much else. I was not very skilled, worked from my imagination and knew little about anatomy – which lead to some quite skewed body shapes. Nevertheless, the results gave me a deep sense of satisfaction – not only as objects of desire, but as acheivements. It was as if I somehow possessed the girls in the drawings. They were my creations after all. Conquests – though not in a traditional sense.
Later I learned that I was in no way alone in this. Then as now, young aspiring male artists pour their surplus libido into creating the women of their ardour. A quick search on sites like Deviant Art show that the (teenage) tradition of drawing naked women is as alive and prosperous as it was when I was a teen. Actually, whole Hollywood plots have been written to address this dream: of being able to create (and possibly control) the object of desire. However, new technologies have entered the scene – now a large part of such output is created using 3d software. Different from the pen and pencil drawings of my youth is the aesthetic – anatomically perfect (albeit still abnormal) the girls are smooth as plastic and skinny as mannequins. Uncannily close to photo-real, but with none of the flesh and grit of a real subject – their eyes dead as doll’s. It’s a type of misogyny, of course – especially if such an aesthetic is to become a standard for beauty. Still, my interest is more in the men, our gaze, and how our sexuality and creativity corelate.
In Octopussies I have created a series of drawings where I have used the 3d software employed in teenage fan-art to create and pose women of my desire. In this virtual world I have been able to shape and form the human body as I wish – always with correct proportions. I have placed lights and cameras as I pleased. This process has let me acheive that sense of creation and wonder I used to have – that working from a photograph would’ve deprived me of.
Similar to the way these narratives often go though, there is a catch. This kind of autonomous autoeroticism cannot be tolerated – the female subject cannot be erased – her sexuality cannot be sterilised – man cannot play god without punishment. Therefore my dream girls are blemished by an unsubtle feature that goes only too well with my Freudian inclinations. I bring you: octopussies!