New in the gallery --- Go Hirano



Here he is, finally, Go Hirano, arguably the most-intense erotic artist of our gallery selection. Adding him took us so long because we couldn't decide which pictures to show. Well, here they are, as a flash slideshow (which may not show on certain iDevices):





Go Hirano is a mysterious figure in Japanese gay erotic art---nothing is known about his personal life. His illustrations, however (sent anonymously to the editors of early gay magazines Fuzokukitan and Barazoku, starting in 1963), left an indelible impression on his contemporaries and the artists that followed in his footsteps. Rumors abound, of course, that he was the Japanese emperor himself.

Hirano is one of the five major artists profiled in Gengoroh Tagame’s crucial history book, Gay Erotic Art in Japan, vol. 1. Here’s an excerpt from Tagame’s chapter on Hirano:
…his detailed drawings of physical bodies stand out. The massive flesh is brilliant and the realistic skin is remarkable. The deep black body hair is so detailed that the viewer may feel the artist has some fetish for it. The thick, sensual atmosphere these details make is of a very high quality, unknown in other artists of any generation.
Hirano’s pieces are almost exclusively about men engaged in sexual intercourse (with a few nods toward masturbation); it is almost like sex with a piece of paper---as if the activity of drawing was his substitute for the real thing. He made hundreds and hundreds of drawings of men locked in passionate embraces, and had a particular ability to capture the wincing, intense, consuming, ultra-sharp moments of intercourse and stimulation. He submitted them by mail to the gay publication Barazoku, and never once appeared in person. His name is associated with graphic illustrations starting around 1963, though viewers are most familiar with his later works published exclusively in Barazoku. If you don’t know about Barazoku, this article is a great start to a Wikipedia wormhole about homosexuality in Japanese culture.

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