To his public the Belgian artist Luc Lafnet (1899-1939) appeared the epitome of a garret-dwelling bohemian—dressed in a cloak, floppy hat, brightly colored cravat, with an unruly beard, Trotsky glasses and a portfolio of sketches under his arm. But looks are often deceiving—for Lafnet was best known as a painter of fine watercolors and most especially for his beautiful paintings and interior designs created for the walls of the monastery at Pont l’Abbé d’Arnoult and several churches around Paris.
But even this disguised a further truth about Lafnet as he had a secret and more lucrative life as an illustrator of erotic literature. Like most artists who earned a living from porn, Lafnet used several aliases to produce his work—most famously “Jim Black.”
As Jim Black, Lafnet created many powerful works of BDSM art—in particular his etchings for Florence Fulbert’s Dresseuse d’hommes (1931) and Sophia Furrya’s Les geôles de dentelles (1933). In these as in much of his other erotic artwork, Black depicted Amazonian women thrashing men with whips and belts—humiliating them, degrading, even making them endure some forced feminization. The women are always in control—the men errant young that must be chastised and put in their place.
Lafnet also had a highly respectable and influential career as cartoon/graphic book artist. Unfortunately his career was tragically cut short after the death of his daughter in 1938—an event from which he never fully recovered—dying himself the following year.
Via Librairie Curiosa.