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R AW E ROT I C A Sex, Lust and Desire in Outsider Art

cover image FRIEDRICH SCHRÖDER-SONNENSTERN Die Praxis, detail, 1952 colored crayon on cardboard 73 x 54 cm, 28.7 x 21.2 ins. Galerie Brockstedt, Hamburg back cover image CHOMO Fécondité (Fertility), c. 1976 melted plastic and earth on wire netting height 80 cm, 31.5 ins. Chomeaux estate

R AW E R OT I C A published by Raw Vision magazine, 2013 edited by John Maizels and Colin Rhodes with contributions from Frank Maresca and design by Elizabeth Cline ISBN 978-0-9543393-5-7 (paperback) ISBN 978-0-9543393-6-4 (hardcover)

Raw Vision Ltd PO Box 44, Watford WD25 8LN, UK

Contents 1

Rawerotics Colin Rhodes


From Complusion to Repulsion Colin Rhodes


Depicting the Object of Desire Roger Cardinal

112 Steve Ashby, the Outsider’s Outsider Jenifer P. Borum 122 Sex as a Matter of Fact in the Work of Five European Outsiders Laurent Danchin 140 Free Sexuality or Perversion? The Erotic in American Outsider Art Michael Bonesteel 162 The Secret Lens of Miroslav Tichý Roger Cardinal 174 Pleasure and Pain—Sexual and Erotic Motifs in the Prinzhorn Collection Thomas Röske 194 The Erotic World of Ody Saban Françoise Monnin 206 Notes 207 Index


Roy Ferdinand, Jr. (1959–2004), from New

like all the best visual commentators on society and

Orleans, led a life with none of the isolated, objective

its ills, he had a fine eye for detail and great skill in

distance of McCarthy. No stranger to poverty, drugs,

capturing character. In this way he left a chronicle of

violence, and sex, he represented all of these in social

often violent and degraded lives in images that ran

realist morality artworks, that pulled no punches. In a

the gamut of powerful human emotions. Ferdinand

relatively short but explosive period before his

surely takes his place among some of the great

untimely death from cancer in 2004, Ferdinand

illustrators, like William Hogarth, Thomas

produced a large body of work that depicted life in

Rowlandson, George Grosz, and R. Crumb, though

the toughest neighborhoods of his native New

his chosen materials were those of the late twentieth-

Orleans. He found his subject matter in lived

century—marker pens and cheap, mass-produced

experience, as well as newspapers and the media, and,

pencils and colors. His images of prostitutes are at JUSTIN MCCARTHY Nude, 1965 oil on masonite 18.3 x 24 cm, 7.2 x 9.4 ins. Grey Carter Objects of Art, Virginia


ROY FERDINAND JR. Untitled, 1990 mixed media on poster board 71 x 55 cm, 28 x 22 ins. collection Robert A. Roth, Chicago

ROY FERDINAND JR. Untitled, 1992 mixed media on poster board 71 x 55.8 cm, 28 x 22 ins. collection Robert A. Roth, Chicago

once erotic and admonitory. Viewers are left in little

attained. Arguably this psychological distancing

doubt in these crepuscular scenes that these are real

drives home the artist’s socially critical message more

women, incongruously revealing sexualized bodies at

potently than those instances where the female

urban roadsides, engaged in the business of sex. Yet

sexworker’s body is depicted as physically repulsive

their apparent availability to the paying male gaze, is

and diseased, as in the case of artists such as Otto Dix

confused by the relaxed naturalness of their poses and

or Joe Coleman. In Untitled (Monica Lewinsky)

faces; these are women who know the artist/viewer

(c. 1998), Ferdinand offers a wholly more direct

and, moreover, who know that he will not engage

social commentary on the peccadillos of President

with them physically. In this way, they are cast into

Clinton. Nothing is left to the imagination here.

another erotic sphere; attainable but never to be

Though the image is saved from banality by the wit of ROY FERDINAND JR. Untitled (Monica Lewinsky), c. 1998 mixed media on poster board 60 x 50 cm, 24 x 20 ins. collection Robert A. Roth, Chicago


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