Friday, September 14, 2012

Samuel Steward for Sale at The Elysium Press

Please note that not all of the links in this post are worksafe...

One of the most exciting 'discoveries' in the last few years in terms of gay history and culture has been the work done by Justin Spring and others uncovering and documenting the life of Samuel Steward (aka Phil Andros and Phil Sparrow) an English professor, tattoo artist, pornographer and sexual renegade. If you haven't yet read Spring's biography Secret Historian. The Life and Times of Samuel Steward then you should treat yourself. It's a compelling and thought-provoking read that throws a light on a world that you thought you knew existed but were too afraid to ask. The 2010 publication of the biography was followed by the issuing of An Obscene Diary. The Visual World of Sam Steward, in a large format, slipcased, limited edition of 1000, again with text by Justin Spring but made up almost entirely of the photographs, drawings and paintings that Steward made throughout his life as a kind of, yes, 'visual diary'. On this wave of interest there then followed an exhibition through much of 2011 at New York's Museum of Sex

Much of the archive of visual material that Steward created and collected has been acquired by David Deiss at Elysium Press, and if you haven't visited their website in a while you should. It has recently been revamped and is looking very sophisticated and makes for an absorbing browse. Among all the goodies though you can see many of the items that were displayed at the Museum of Sex exhibition and other pieces by Steward now for sale. There are his tattoo flashes, erotic pen drawings in the style of Cocteau and then other work in more obscure media like the two scratchboard mythical scenes below here. 


memoriesofthefuture said...

Wow, always love it when different aspects of my intellectual life intersect--I was just starting preliminary research on one of Steward's novels this morning for (an eventual) seminar paper. Was unaware of that Antinous Press release--waaaaaaay out of my current budget as a starving student, but I might have to start saving my pennies and see I I can cobble enough together by the time the run sells out. Thanks for bringing it to my attention! :)

(And also, as a longtime reader but first time commenter, thank you for keeping such a wonderful, consistently delightful blog!)


Callum said...

Hi Jesse,

Thanks so much for taking the trouble to comment. It's always nice to meet a 'lurker' as they stick their head into the light for the first time. Especially one who says such nice things...! :-)


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