Many apologies for not posting in a while. It’s been one of those horrible couple of weeks where real life has to take priority over artistic pursuits. I hate it when that happens. Anyway, I return from the tawdry realms of reality bearing gifts in the form of more decadent artwork for your viewing pleasure. And this time it’s the turn of Paris-based Belgian graphic artist, Felicien Rops (1833-1898).
I must confess that until fairly recently I wasn’t really a fan of Rops’ work. I admired him stylistically, but there was something about his tendency to portray women like slabs of meat put me off. However, I have recently changed my mind completely. I suppose I never realised just how much of a sense of humour Rops had – his highly controversial works really are dripping in irony, and the themes of explicit sexuality and the occult set out to deliberately provoke the society that condemned him.
He has had several imitators, but none of them have come close to the original outrageousness of Rops. He played upon the clichés of the Symbolist movement, exploiting all that was controversial about it to the utmost limits, filling his graphic art with sex, death and the devil. Consider me thoroughly converted.