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Etchings of Parisian prostitutes and drug addicts portray ‘deadly and delicious passions’
12:30 pm



Édouard Chimot was an artist, editor and writer whose career burned brightly through the 1920s but fizzled out during the 1930s and forties. His artwork was a last hurrah for the decadent world portrayed (and generally indulged in) by many French artists during the 1890s.

Born in Lille in 1880, Chimot studied at his local art college and at the École des Arts décoratifs in Nice. It’s fair to say, not much is known about Chimot during this period—though it has been posited he may have originally started out as an architect before switching career to becoming an artist. This may explain why he didn’t exhibit until he was in his early thirties in 1912.

His first exhibition featured drawings, etchings and paintings of the “jeunes et jolies femmes”—the prostitutes and drug addicts who worked and lived near his studio in Montmartre. Chimot often paid these women to sit for him—as prostitutes were often cheaper to hire than models especially when paying by the night. He was heavily influenced by the Symbolist movement of the 1860s to 1890s—writers Charles Baudelaire, Stéphane Mallarmé, and Paul Verlaine; artists Félicien Rops and the Post-Impressionist Toulouse Lautrec. The success of his first show gained Chimot his a commission to illustrate René Baudu’s Les Après-midi de Montmartre—a depiction of seedy lowlife in Paris’s 18th arrondissement.

However, Chimot’s career was once again halted this time by a far more deadly and dangerous interlude—the First World War. Chimot served for almost five years in French army. One can only surmise what happened to him during this time. Yet, it may be possible to ascertain something of his grim experience from the comments of philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein who once wrote that during war he never felt more alive than when in proximity to death. Wittgenstein’s bloody experience led him to some recklessness behavior—volunteering for several near fatal (if not downright suicidal)  missions.

On leaving the trenches, this intense experience led Wittgenstein to a burst of creativity. Something similar undoubtedly happened to Chimot—who produced a large portfolio of drawings and etchings upon quitting the army. This portfolio formed the basis of illustrations published in books—including Les Après-midi de Montmartre.

Most of these artworks were featured in limited edition books—which catered to the tastes of an exceedingly rich clientele. Chimot’s frenzied burst of activity produced his trademark monochromatic erotica of his favored “deadly and delicious passions”—prostitutes, drug addicts and lost young girls. His work tended to romanticize this shabby world of poverty, disease and addiction—but there are moments when his etchings captured some fleeting awareness at the depths of their despair. All that prostitution and skulls without thinking that men might have something to do with it.

Chimot’s career blossomed. He became an editor of Les Éditions d’Art Devambez—responsible for producing fine quality limited editions imprints of such infamous tales as Les Chansons de Bilitis, La Troisième Jeunesse de Madame Prune, Les Belles de Nuit and Mitsou. He also brought together a group of prominent writers and artists like Henri Barbusse, Collette, Pierre Brissaud and Tsuguharu Foujita.

However, his career came quickly unstuck by two very different forces—the major advances in art (Cubism, Fauvism, Dada, Surrealism and Abstraction) and most damagingly the Wall Street Crash which overnight killed off the demand for high-end exclusive erotica. Chimot carried on—but never to the same success. He moved to Spain where he produced artworks that now looked sadly dated, trite and often the kind of representations seen on sailor’s tattoos or low rent pulp magazines. The glory days of Chimot’s best work were over—the early 1920s when he produced some of the most memorable and haunting images for works of decadent literature.
More of Chimot’s decadent art, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
The kitschy erotic art of Suzanne Ballivet (NSFW)
09:39 am



The great Impressionist artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir sanded the corners off his wooden furniture so there could be no sharp edges against which his children could accidentally injure themselves. It was a nice idea—but not altogether practical as the furniture—the hard substance—against which his offspring could accidentally injure themselves was still very much present.

This story came to mind while looking at the erotic artwork of French artist Suzanne Ballivet. Firstly, because of their style many of her drawings reminded me of Renoir—and to some extent those artists to be found camped out on the streets of Paris who sketch kitschy portraits of tourists where the faces are always smiling and almost cherubic.

Secondly, just as Renoir sanded his furniture to soften the blow, Ballivet produced sensuous—often highly explicit—erotic images in a very twee, kitsch and populist manner—like the overly sweet images found on Christmas cards or shortbread tins or hanging on an elderly relative’s wall. The style may look soft but the content is undoubtedly hard.

Suzanne Ballivet was born in Paris in 1904. She was the daughter of local photographer Jules Ballivet—who was best known for his photographs of Montpellier in the south of France. Ballivet became a costume designer in theater before finding her true métier in the 1940s as an artist producing comic and often explicit illustrations for magazines and classic works of erotic literature like Pierre Louÿs’ Les Chansons de Bilitis, Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du mal and Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s Venus in Furs.

Ballivet also illustrated several other literary works by Balzac, Rimbaud, Raymond Radiguet, Anatole France, Mirabeau, Charles Dickens and mores contemporary writers like Collette, Raymond Peynet and Albert Dubout—who she married in 1968.

Though Ballivet’s work is best known in France, her pioneering erotic art has influenced a whole generation of succeeding graphic artists and illustrators of erotica and is eminently collectible.
More erotic art from Suzanne Ballivet, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
The inexplicably ubiquitous phenomenon of ‘woods porn’
09:05 am

Pop Culture


Louisville, Kentucky, circa 1982: my best friend and I spent a lot of time exploring the woods on our walks home after school. One fateful day we stumbled upon a not-so-hidden cache of adult magazines which blew our Catholic grade-school minds. I still remember the titles after all these years: Oui, Harvey, Gallery, and two Hustlers. One of the issues of Hustler had an article on Anton Lavey, which I’m sure had a profound impact on my juvenile mind. That same issue had a pictorial I’ll never forget: two female “space aliens” in silver outfits and rainbow-colored afros. It was the first time I ever realized that two women could or would ever kiss each other. My initial reaction was “ewww” right before my secondary reaction of “ohhhh.”

Up to that point I had snuck a few peeks at the old man’s Playboys, but I had never known that there was other stuff under those furry early ‘80s muffs. There were so many revelations in those treasures that at first sort of grossed me out, but then completely fascinated me to no end. It seems, arguably, in retrospect, that these magazines just karmically appeared out of nowhere at exactly the right time in my development. My friend and I split them up. He’d hold on to a few of them for a week, and I’d keep the others, and then we’d swap. To a pre-teen kid, prior to the Internet, finding and holding onto such riches was unparalleled.

It wasn’t until the Internet came along that I learned “woods porn” was a thing that was experienced by anyone other than me. I remember first hearing the term mentioned on a messageboard back in the late ‘90s. I was surprised, at the time, that someone else had had a similar experience to my discovery of forbidden sacred treasures in the woods. Others began to chime in with their experiences and I was shocked to find that it was such a common experience.

Over the years, I’ve seen discussions pop up from time to time where (mostly dudes) reminisce about the stacks of Penthouse and (always) Hustler (it seemed to be the woods porn title of choice) that were found in dry creek beds or under logs or in abandoned shacks or behind construction sites.

I’ve had to wonder if there was some sort of Johnny Appleseed of porn who traveled the country distributing perverse periodicals for the most inquisitive children to find on their explorations. Some have speculated about nasty gnomes or porn-faeries littering the woodlands with titillating treats.

Is it possible that stacks of pornography were left in remote areas as lures for pedophiles with nefarious agendas? In my hometown we had a registered sex offender albino shop-owner whose entire M.O. in procuring teenage boys involved offering them jobs “reviewing” porn tapes. Could woods porn have been bait in a trap that somehow hundreds of kids in the ‘70s and ‘80s managed to snag like mice catching cheese without getting caught? I mean, there’s no anecdotal evidence I’ve ever heard to indicate that this is the case, but then again, maybe the parties involved aren’t able to tell their tales?

The truth is probably more simple and innocent than that: the woods offered some sort of privacy that couldn’t be found in the home . They were the ultimate safe space for kids or homeless dudes or henpecked husbands or whomever might have needed a quiet place alone to reflect on god’s creations.

Recreation of a typical woods porn cache. Photo by Bickel.
I recently asked friends on social media if they had ever had an experience with finding porn in the woods and within a day I had over 70 people chime in indicating that they definitely had found porn in the woods as a child. The stories of “secret spank banks” of “rain-mangled” magazines seemed to anecdotally indicate that woods porn was ubiquitous and finding it was a widely-shared common experience.

The stories told were sometimes frightening: one describing a massive “trash bag full that we found in the woods and when we shook it out to sift through it, a huge shit and blood-encrusted dildo fell out too,” and another who had found porn in the woods, but then stopped looking when a dead body was found in the same spot.

More after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Antique erotic cigarette cases from the early 20th century
11:24 am



Erotic-themed cigarette case from Sweden, 1910.
In order to protect the somewhat delicate hand-rolled cigarettes that were sold during the early part of the 20th century, fashionable cigarette cases crafted in gold, silver or other precious materials started popping up in the hands of elite members of society all around the world.

These cases became a venue for artists to use their handiwork to produce images that would appeal to all kinds of customers, including those who enjoyed gazing at erotic images while enjoying a relaxing smoke. Born out of function cigarette cases became decadent pieces of art. Even the posh egg-man Peter Carl Fabergé designed cigarette cases in the late 19th century that were ornately decorated with precious jewels such as diamonds, sapphires and emeralds. While Fabergé‘s fancy cigarette cases were fit for the gentry or royal crowds, the “erotic” themed cases in this post were probably not flashed around by members of the upper-class or aristocracy while in mixed company.

Due to their age they are quite hard to come by and the exquisite cases have been known to fetch anywhere from $3000 to $9000 when they come up for auction at Christie’s or Sotheby’s. Occasionally these authentic era-specific cases do pop up on sites like Etsy and eBay but even then they can run several hundred dollars a pop. I’ve got a number of beautiful erotic cigarette cases for you to look at below—that said, though they are incredible works of vintage art (some of which are over 100 years old), they are NSFW.

Germany, early 1900s.

Vienna, 1913.


Germany, 1910.
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Kinky erotic portraits of Yukio Mishima
10:00 am



In 1961, a young photographer named Eikoh Hosoe was asked by writer Yukio Mishima to take his portrait picture. It was a humbling yet surprising commission. Mishima was then Japan’s greatest living novelist—the author tipped to one day win the Nobel Prize. Hosoe was relatively unknown. The commission made Hosoe deeply curious as to why the great Mishima had chosen him.

When they met in the small garden at Mishima’s house, the author anticipated Hosoe’s question:

“I loved your photographs of Tatsumi Hijikata. I want you to photograph me like that, so I asked my editor to call you.”

“Mr. Mishima, do you mean I can photograph you in my own way?” I asked.

“Yes, I am your subject matter. Photograph me however you please, Mr. Hosoe,” he replied.

All my questions and anxiety faded.

The photographs Mishima so greatly admired were the ones Hosoe had taken of the dancer Tatsumi Hijikata. 

Hijikata was an originator of Butoh—an apocalytpic dance form developed in Japan after the Second World War in opposition to western influence. Mishima had similarly broken away from the prevailing western influence that had altered Japan after the war and during the 1950s. Mishima wanted a return of the Emperor and the ancient samurai traditions.

Mishima had been a puny kid. As he matured he changed his body through rigorous exercise and weight-lifting to become toned and highly athletic. His books often deal with the theme of the split between intellectual ambitions and the man of action.

His first novel Confessions of a Mask examined the “reluctant masquerade” between the perceived and actual life. Mishima was bisexual. He was married with two children but had an intense and active gay life. He was a sadomasochist, who believed in the living of a life through force of will. A life that he claimed adhered to the strict codes of the samurai. His books were fixed in this tradition—though his subject matter was preoccupied with sex and death. This led many critics in the west to misunderstand Mishima. One of my collegues here label him as a cross between “Proust and Jeffrey Dahmer.”

That fine day in September 1961, Hosoe quickly realized Mishima did not want a banal author portrait:

In offering himself as the “subject matter” of my photographs, I thought he might have wanted to become a dancer himself. I was still in my twenties then, so I was naïve. I did not make the distinction between an international literary figure and a dancer.

Mishima’s father happened to be watering the garden, so I grabbed his hose, and I wrapped Mishima’s entire body in the hose and kept him standing in the center of the zodiac, where he was planning to erect a statue of Apollo.

I asked him to look up and concentrate on my camera, which I was holding from a ladder above. I shouted, “Keep looking at my lens very intensely, Mr. Mishima! Okay, that’s great, keep going . . .” He never blinked while I shot two rolls of 35mm film. “I am proud of my ability to keep my eyes open for minutes,” said Mishima.

“I have never been photographed like this,” he said. “Why did you do it in this way?”

“This is the destruction of a myth,” I replied.

“You should wrap the hose around Haruo Sato,” he laughed. Haruo Sato was considered to be a literary giant at that time. But what I really meant was that I wanted to destroy the preconceived ideas about Mishima’s image in order to create a new Mishima.

After the shoot, Hosoe thought he may have gone too far. Two days later, Mishima phoned him to say he loved the photographs and wanted to collaborate with Hosoe on some more.

Over a period of six months Hosoe worked with Mishima on a series photographs which he hoped would capture the writer’s soul. These were eventually published as a book—with text by Mishima—called Ba-ra-kei or Ordeal by Roses.

In November 1970, Mishima together with four members of his secret army attempted a military coup. They broke into the eastern headquarters of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces taking the commanding officer prisoner. Mishima demanded 800 soldiers gather outside the offices to hear a speech and a list of demands he had written. Mishima hoped this speech would inspire the troops to rebel against the corruption of western influence and join his rebellion. Mishima wanted an end of democracy and a return of the Emperor. His rebellion was a literal union of the artist and man of action changing history.

The troops laughed and jeered as the author spoke. The coup failed. Mishima returned inside where he committed seppuku (self-disembowelment) before one of his soldiers attempted to decapitate him. After several blows failed to remove his head, another of his soldiers eventually managed to decapitate Mishima.

Mishima’s biographer John Nathan suggested this military coup was only a pretext for Mishima’s ritual suicide—something he had long dreamed about. In his short story “Patriotism” Mishima described an idealized seppuku where the central character pulls a blade across his abdomen cutting himself open:

The vomiting made the fierce pain fiercer still, and the stomach, which had thus far remained firm and compact, now abruptly heaved, opening wide its wound, and the entrails burst through, as if the wound too were vomiting. . . . The entrails gave an impression of robust health and almost disagreeable vitality as they slipped smoothly out and spilled over into the crotch. . . . A raw smell filled the room.

Hosoe’s photographs of Mishima taken in 1961 and 1962 capture the author’s terrible beauty, eroticism and conflicted sadomasochistic nature.
More of Hosoe’s photographs of Mishima, after the jump….

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Sexist vintage Tiparillo ads featuring half-naked ‘career women’ who would do ANYTHING for a smoke
11:33 am



One of a series of sexist ads by cigar maker Tiparillo from the late 60s.
Cigar maker Tiparillo launched this charming advertising campaign back in 1967. It featured beautiful, buxom females portrayed as “professional” women such as a marine biologist, lab technician and a librarian in various states of undress. In the case of the bespectacled librarian it would appear that she’s entirely nude with the exception of the book she’s naturally using to strategically cover her bare breasts. The old adage of “sex sells” is never wrong, but neither is the fact that when sex is used to sell something it often comes loaded with heavy doses of sexism.

Such is the case with these particular Tiparillo ads that were likely used by men’s interest magazines such as Playboy (you can actually see the Playboy logo on the “marine biologist” one at the top of this post) so yeah, I get it. Cigarette marketing to men should involve boobs and submissive-looking women (or TWINS!) giving hope to the idea that proffering a distinctly phallic Tiparillo is the key to sexy times with bodacious (and intelligent) half-naked females. I can’t lie, I nearly spit out my vodka tonic when I saw them and I hate wasting good booze. While the images are fairly amusing (and a little rapey if you ask me) it’s the captions that attempt to tell the “story” behind said Tiparillo man and that indiscreet object of his desire. Here’s the one attached to our sexy librarian that you’ll see below:

She’ll read anything she can get her hands on. From Medieval History to How-To-Build-a-24-Foot-Iceboat. Loves books. Loves new ideas. Okay. No Doubt, she’s seen the unusual slim Tiparillo shape. She’s been intrigued by the neat white tip. She may even know that there are two Tiparillos. Regular for a mild smoke and new Tiparillo M with menthol for a cold smoke. Your only problem is which to offer. P.S. If she accepts our Tiparillo remember to fumble with the matches until she decides to light it herself. That way, she’ll have to put the book down.

If there were any more innuendo in that ad it would be for Viagra. Anyway, I’m sure these vintage ads will probably cause you to experience a wide range of emotions as they did yours truly. And as you might imagine they are kinda/somewhat NSFW.


Going to the dentist has never been so much FUN!
More sexist cigar ads after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
‘Jayne Mansfield for President’: Hilarious cheesecake book from 1964
11:15 am



Not unlike the one culminating today, the 1964 U.S. Presidential election was in dire need of some levity. The nation was still reeling from the shocking assassination of the extremely popular President John F. Kennedy, and the Republican candidate was a conservative so far to the right that he lacked support from all but the nuttiest fringes of his own party.

But those were arguably simpler times, and America had fewer problems that couldn’t be solved with boobies.

During that election cycle, actress/model Jayne Mansfield, an intended heiress-apparent to the Marilyn Monroe blonde bombshell throne, was the subject of a book called Jayne Mansfield for President: The White House or Bust. Mansfield had just become infamous as the first mainstream actress to appear nude in a Hollywood film, Promises! Promises!, but Jayne Mansfield for President goes no further than bikini cheesecake and ribald political captions. And in the introduction, there’s this amusing passage:

All right, now look down the portrait gallery of the American Presidency. What do you see there? Beards, side-whiskers, bald heads, scowls. What’s missing? I’ll tell you what’s missing, buster—a cupid’s bow smile, a false eyelash wink, a nifty cleavage. If a farmer, a clerk, a general, a Southerner can make it to the White House, why not a lady…better yet a WOMAN!

We have a stand-out candidate in mind, and we want to show you what would happen when she rolls up her sleeves throws out her chest and takes charge of the political scene.

What follows is a selection of favorite spreads. The complete publication can be viewed at Decaying Hollywood Mansions. Clicking an image spawns an enlargement.


More more more Mansfield after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
R-rated illustrated album covers & rare racy bootlegs from Joy Division, The Cure & Serge Gainsbourg
09:27 am



The cover of the 1987 single ‘Lachez les chiens!’ by French group Super Nana by artist Aslan (aka Alain Gourdon).
You may be familiar with the work of the French illustrator known as “Aslan” or Alain Gourdon. Best known for his pin-ups Aslan was a contributor to French magazine Lui starting in 1963 where he would illustrate a different, gorgeously realistic pin-up for Lui each month for nearly 20 years.

Aslan was not only an incredibly talented illustrator and painter but was also quite adept at the art of sculpture. His 1970 bust of French starlet Brigitte Bardot as “Marianne” (one of a number of female images that have been used as a symbol representing the French republic) was the first bust promoted by the Louvre Museum while the author/creator was still living. In the last thirty or so years “Marianne” has been portrayed in the image of other female French icons such as actress Catherine Deneuve model Laetitia Casta. Naturally Aslan’s bust of “Marianne” features a plunging neckline revealing a lot of eye-popping sculpted cleavage.

When it comes to Aslan’s pin-ups for Lui there aren’t very many I can show you here as they are all pretty much gorgeously done X-rated illustrations featuring full-frontal nudity (you can see them here if you’d like). That said, I’m barely going to get away with showing you Aslan’s cool album covers especially when it comes to a bootleg of a performance by The Cure in Amsterdam in 1979 (see bottom) which was apparently used without his permission. The rest—including the illustration that was used for a Joy Division bootleg called “Enigma” that was apparently sanctioned by Aslan (part of a cavalcade of unofficial Joy Division pressings from the 80s that were released following vocalist Ian Curtis’s suicide—are still about as cheeky as they come.

I’ve also included a nice selection of album covers done by Aslan for Fontana Records (an offshoot of Dutch music label Phillips) that were all part of Fontana’s Après Minuit releases that featured artists like Serge Gainsbourg, Johnny Hallyday and jazz great Chet Baker. Like I said, the images in this post, while gorgeous, are most definitely NSFW. If you’ve just become a fan of Aslan and want to see more, I highly recommend seeking out the many pulp novels with his naughty illustrations on the covers.

An illustration done by Aslan on the cover of ‘Enigma’ a Joy Division bootleg from 1980.

The Cure ‘The Spell’s Unbroken’ bootleg from a live performance from 1985 at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, UK with pin-up art by Aslan.
Many more after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Portraits of New Orleans prostitutes, 1912 (NSFW)
09:33 am



The kids thought the old man creepy. He had spidery legs, walked funny and was kinda misshapen. They told the younger kids he was a murderer, a weirdo and you don’t ever wanna go near his house. The grownups that knew him thought him a miser, a strange one, or that retired guy who’s always taking pictures. He had been a photographer—worked as a commercial photographer taking photos of ships, machines, or whatever the heck he was paid to shoot. Now he walked around New Orleans trying to take pictures with one of those newfangled hand cameras.

His name was E. J. Bellocq—John Ernest Joseph Bellocq. Nobody knew very much about him. He was a quiet man, kept himself to himself—which always sounds like the kind of thing said by neighbors after they find out they were living next door to a particularly nasty serial killer. Bellocq was no serial killer—but he did have a secret life that only came to light after his death in 1949.

In amongst his personal effects were about ninety glass plate photographs stored in his desk. These pictures were portraits of prostitutes from the red light district of Storyville circa 1912. They were portraits—often featuring the same women posed on chairs or standing in rooms where they worked their trade as prostitutes. Bellocq must have had a close—if not intimate—relationship with these women in order to gain their trust and have them pose so willingly. Portrait photography is a work of collaboration. These women are posing as they want to be seen—wearing furs or prized clothes, smiling with a pet dog, lying like one of Henri Matisse’s odalisques, or playing cards. The images are considered and composed. Other than that, we know very little about E. J. Bellocq and the women he photographed.

What we do learn is the historical conditions—the quality of rooms and brothels—these prostitutes lived and worked in around the turn of the last century in New Orleans. The rest we can imagine or fictionalize—as Louis Malle infamously did with his film (inspired by a song) of Bellocq’s relationship with an underage prostitute in Pretty Baby.
More of Bellocq’s photos of New Orleans prostitutes, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Drawing dicks on Donald: Art exhibit elevates US politics to a juvenile level
09:25 am



One of my favorite single-serving Facebook groups is also one of the most massively puerile. Make of that what you will, I ain’t proud. It’s called “Drawing Dicks on the Herald Sun,” and it’s exactly as it says on the box—artists drawing highly improbable members onto photos printed in Melbourne, AU’s newspaper of record, the Herald Sun. As if to prove that 8th grade is forever, the page has attracted almost 400K followers, and has even become the subject of art exhibits. Their “About” page description is a masterpiece of parsimony:

Drawing dicks on things may seem immature, but in reality it’s hilarious. My fellow workmates and I get bored at lunch, these are some of our master pieces. Feel free to share your own, but please have some creativity.

The 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution has roughly the same word count and fails at that level of pristine clarity. FUCK YEAH, ‘STRAYA!

The latest exhibit elevating DDOTHS’s study-hall oeuvre to clean well lighted places is opening this Friday at ArtBoy, a pop art gallery in Melbourne’s southeastern suburbs, and it focuses on the coming US Presidential election—obviously a matter of global importance. It’s called “Doodles on Donald,” and it features newspaper photos of the Donald (and, presumably for balance’s sake, a Hillary) embellished with great big veiny monster dicks lovingly rendered in pencil, paint, and ballpoint pen.

Heh heh. BALLpoint.

Over 40 pieces by 30 different artists will be on display. Naturally every single thing to follow from here is totally unsafe for work (unless of course you work with cock). Artworks were provided by Larry Boxshall, the exhibit’s organizer, and also the director of a documentary about DDOTHS. Trailers for that doc follow the images.


More dicks drawn on Donald after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
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