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Thursday, September 29, 2005

Frederico Fellini's Late Erotic Drawings

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The dark, pagan Frederico Fellini. (image via kurtzfilmtage)

All this talk of giant squids reminds us of Fellini, the Surrealist Master (The Corsair lights a pipe). If you are round Austria-way, you may want to check out Karikaturmuseum's "Erotomachia" exhibition, which, according to Gulf Daily News, "assembles 29 erotic drawings sketched by Fellini in his twilight years 1991-1992."

That's so hot. The Corsair is a tremendous -- tremendous -- Frederico Fellini fan.

As everyone knows, Fellini was a Surrealist director, famous for the eerie dream-landscapes of "8 1/2," as well as his fucking brilliant, sick Ancient-Rome-via-Science-Fiction take on Petronius Arbiter's Satyricon. Before he was a director, though, Fellini was a satyrical cartoonist, and remained so all his life, sketching the activity on the set and in the margins in letters to his friends.

Fellini, sympathetic to mysticism (he was born under Aquarius, the sign of the mad-genius), was greatly influenced by Carl Gustav Jung, going so far as to chronicle his rich dream life for many years. He sketched his dreams as bold cartoons -- heavy on black and dark blues -- with his characteristic focus on impassive, Pagan facial stares, and extremely dramatic high-tension situations that later, after Fellini broke from Italian Neorealism, informed his films (Think Marcello Mastroianni, in the pagan-toga, cracking the bullwhip, trying to tame his unruly sexual fantasies). The Corsair, in turn, was deeply influenced by Fellini -- enough so to keep a series of dream notebooks, which we still upkeep (12 years and counting, knock on wood).

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Above: A particularly fertile Fellini dream-landscape involving tigers, dark blue shaded forbidding jungle and mysterious wolf-like creatures staring -- always, with Fellini, the staring. (image via cnn)

From Karikaturmuseum: "The Erotomachia series is a particularly important component of his oeuvre, first because it is the only series with a large number of individual drawings, and second because it was completed at the end of his life, making it a final manifesto of his erotic obsessions. The woman who can be seen repeatedly in the series has the features of his last partner.

"Fellini s perception of women, already seen in the sensuous and voluptuous characters of his films, is even more prominent in these caricatures. In the series, the war of the sexes is conducted with unequal weapons: the faceless men are playthings in the hands of a strong woman who in herself also blurs the distinctions between the sexes.

Curiously, Fellini's late works, like Pablo Picasso's, his idol -- his "Primitive" idol? -- focus on eroticism. One time Fellini had a dream that began with him deep in the ocean, adrift, lost. A feeling of deep anxiety -- the anxiety of the artist? -- came over him (Fellini charmingly notes alarm in his sketches as cartoonish beads of sweat). Then, suddenly (so Aquarian, the erratic speed shifts), Picasso swims past Fellini, impossibly fast, almost in an act of violence. Fellini tries, in vain, to catch up but Picasso; but Picasso -- the fish? -- is too fast and long gone.

No other story expresses Fellini's ambition better than that.

4 comments:

The Humanity Critic said...

*Damn Blog Spam* Great blog man, interesting read. I will definitely come through again. Peace.,

Malatron said...

yah. for real. sometimes i dont visit for long time, than I do, and i wonder why i dont come back more often.

i guess i dont read blogs as much as i used to.

Ron said...

thanks guys: These blog spammers are driving me mad!

Bubbles, Ink. said...

there's no chance this exhibition will be travelling is there?
bollocks to comment spammers. the word verification feature is getting more complicated to read than calculus.