Creators: Peter Vattanatham and Fiel Valdez
Publisher: Me, Me
Date Published: 2005
How can someone go past a book called ‘Grafuck’ and not pick it up? Let’s face it – sex sells. But Grafuck is much more than just sex. A myriad of different artists and art styles come together to create the first addictive volume of a bold concept born to succeed.
And just as there is a myriad of styles of art there is a myriad of ideas portrayed here. Sex is fun, dirty, lusty, disturbing, arousing, humorous and just plain weird at times. The naughty pocket book format adds to the experience.
The artworks themselves are bold and colourful. There are some that are beautiful and can be examined for a long time, there are others that are deliberately ugly. The range is incredible and it makes one realise that there are so many talented (and cheeky) people out there.
The female body is the centrepiece of this book. The majority of artworks feature women in all shades of sexual grey. There is a focus on the pornographic image; the reader is part of this, we are the onlooker and the voyeur. Sex in some artworks has even been reduced to just the genitals themselves.
It would be interesting to see a conservative or morallistic persons reaction to the book. This is definately not a holy or romanticised look at sex – the book is titled ‘Grafuck’ after all. It is a very young book. I feel that if these artists were asked to do another work based on the Grafuck theme in fifty years the difference would be large. But it is a little dissapointing that intimacy and love play little to no part in the artworks. People in love do fuck after all.
But maybe that is the point. With the modern world comes the modern view of sex. Sex is a bodily function, pornography takes away the mystery and conservative viewpoints seem to hold less sway in the public consciousness.
‘Grafuck’ is thoroughly entertaining, interesting, shocking and a book you will come back to. You will laugh, examine and shake your head at times. The artwork is top notch and you get the feeling that many of the artists have probably been waiting for the chance to express themselves like this. This is again a theme and artbook that transcends just the groups interested in art.
All artists webpages and emails are displayed alongside a minature of their work at the back of the book which is extremely helpful. I’ve already viewed a lot of their webpages.
Favorites include: Jacqueline Wehrle, Audrey Kawasaki, GRFICA, Ian Lynam, Pablo Steffa/ Njoi CoLab, Wilfrid Wood, Nathan Fox, Airside, Patrick Murphy, Fiel Valdez, Cleo Charuet, Jake Suichi Chrysostom Gabel, Nguyen Nguyen and Peter Vattanatham.
♥♥♥♥½ – 4½/5