Friday, June 30, 2017

Fur.artwork.erotica finds #4

This is the kind of drawing which would set bad psychologists and bigoted parents ablaze. What a load of aggressive symbolism! A naked dragon-woman with a weird menacing attitude, a coiling tongue, devilish horns, tattoos, goth jewelry and a design full of jagged lines, spikes and flame-like marks: surely a picture like this must be an expression of disturbed emotions and deep insecurities about sex, conveying the perception of women as evil and repulsive creatures… possibly even a fascination with violence and the devil. If your teenage kid drew something like this it’s totally time to call an exorcist.

Or maybe, you know, that kind of freudian/jungian reading of art is utter bullshit and this is simply a drawing by an inexperienced artist (hence the jagged hard to read design) whose imagination is turned on by dragons and Metal aesthetics. The dragoness is actually smiling more than she is snarling, and she is making a sexual offer to the viewer by holding her tail raised in a relatively modest pinup pose. On the strictly artistic side it could be argued that the picture is a rehash of the old "treacherous temptress with pet snake" art trope, but it conflates them into a single character who isn’t really hiding her intentions from us nor betraying any further motives.

Am I pulling a strawman here? I don’t quite think so considering how Ravenwolf, one of my favorite old school furry artists was convinced by a dumb art teacher to dispose of most of his beautiful early art on grounds that it was too disturbing. (It was actually pretty tame tribal fantasy for the most part, not even as sexual or dark as the dragoness above. At least he picked up furry art again many years later.)

Even Goldenwolf, one of the most famous furry/were artists of the 90s, was basically exiled by her religious home community because she drew animal people and pagan themes. The parents of two of my furry friends have called furry pictures devilish. And so on. It wasn’t hard to come by personal stories of the same kind in the furry fandom before dark fantasy stuff became commonplace in the late 2000s.

So I’ll rather risk to err on the side of strawmanning, since bigoted people brandishing rubbish psychology against young artists are a real thing and I mourn each loss of a fresh imagination.

The characters look like a female anthropomorphic collie and a male feral German shepherd engaged in oral sex. It's safe to say that most people would be horrified by a drawing like this, but if you can look past the "culture shock" due to the subject matter and focus on its actual artistic qualities it has a sort of endearing feeling to it. Soft colors, soft edges, physical closeness, a sunny atmosphere. I like the matter-of-fact simplicity of the background with bushes and birds. It looks like a picture done to preserve a very personal and cherished fantasy about some characters rather than mere porn value. And again I don't think a fantasy like this authorizes any inference about the real life sexual life or fetishes of the artist, since there is no sound psychological research whatsoever backing that kind of inference - only commonplaces, poor imagination and poor understanding of creative processes.

Chris Goodwin would later grow to become a professional artist and art teacher. His sense of design was already obvious in early example of his work such as this one, although the strong humanization of facial anatomy and understatement of animal features he employs is not my taste style wise.

Sexual tension between predator and prey is a staple trope of furry art and here it is made interesting by the ambiguity of the situation: the scene seems staged given the poses, but the violence is real and goes beyond mere performance. I also find it interesting to imagine how the scene would feel different if either or both characters were female. It certainly wouldn’t make as much sense if the characters were more human or more feral, and I love how this fits with thematically with the tension between opposites and the unstable balance of the interacting bodies.

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