Line of Beauty: stunning biography of fantasy artist Wendy Pini

I’m going to criticize my comment and then make it.

It is easy to look at someone who criticizes and label them as someone secretly in love with what they are criticizing (think Jimmy Swaggart). Well before I criticize this art (primarily the main piece) let me say that I was a sex addict for most of my life. I’ve seen images like this and loved them, enjoyed them. So I look at elf three ways and it reminds me of a different me.

But it also reminds me of a new me. A me who finds this absolutely objectively repulsive. Kindly, there are much better illustrators and much better art (regardless of content). I imagine this is on Boing Boing because of an affinity for the subject matter. I currently work for an organization that frees women in Asia from sexual slavery. I remember having a conversation with a women who coordinates rescues at a national level and we got talking about how the access to “fantasy” (primarily via internet pornography) has led to an increase in both quantity, severity and barbarity in incidents of trafficked men and women.

This image (primarily the lead-in image), if it is cathartic, is a meat sandwich. If my daughter where in this mix, my heart would be broken (yes i understand it is fiction). There are no faces, there is only bodies. It is funny in our culture of not judging individuals for their sexual proclivities, we have alternatively reduced individuals to merely their sexual proclivities. There is no relation here, there is no personality here, there is no personal love (there is no person here). I recently read of cultures that take their conscience and trade it for an affinity for pleasure. This art denotes an abandonment of the very individuals’ fictitiously involved, in favour of sensation. It is a bit like those images of Jews being hung from a gallows, I remember seeing at punk concerts as a kid. They were meant to represent some animosity toward something. But really they were hateful images. I’m not sure what this fantasy does is any different (specifically the primary image!). It reduces men and women to sexual functions, less than human, it eliminates their person hood and elevates their biological function. That seems like hate, removing someones person/soul for the sake of their gonads, for fantasy for fiction. I deal with that daily: sex trafficking. I don’t get it.

The lead-in image is from Elfquest. It’s part of a narrative that we are not getting the rest of in the article. I daresay the relation, personality, and love you bemoan the lack of may very well be found in the greater context of that narrative.

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