Monday, August 17, 2015

sexpapers PS1 Preview ~ Newsstand Smut 1970s-1980s

Upcoming next month, the Printed Matter Art Book Fair at MoMA PS1 in Long Island City. The tenth annual, not to be missed art and artist's book event, September 18, 19 and 20th. Details here

The Vasta stand continues its presence in one of the main exhibition spaces, featuring silk screened limited edition artist's books, vintage o/p books, periodicals and ephemera, 1960s to the present in our areas of specialty: the body, the nude and the erotic. Along side the vintage material will be a large selection of the latest European silk screened, limited edition artist's books, published by re:Surgo! in Berlin and Le Dernier Cri in Marseilles. More here.


Our centerpiece exhibition will be sexpapers Newsstand Smut 1970s~1980s. A presentation of erotic publications featuring provocatively illustrated covers, exceptional typography and graphic design. The exhibition, as well as the offering of vintage magazines and newspapers available for purchase, includes: Love, Eat, Sex, Hate, Suck, Club Orgy, Screw, OOH!, Fun, Finger, Love Lights, San Francisco Ball and numerous other American and international publications. Prices on request. More about sexpapers at the end of this post. Looking forward to seeing you there!

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SEXPAPERS Newsstand Smut 1970s ~ 1980s is the centerpiece exhibition of the Vasta PS1ABF’15 presentation, featuring erotic publications with provocatively illustrated covers, exceptional typography and graphic design. It is devoted to American publications including: Screw, Eat, Love, Hate, Ooh!, Finger, San Francisco Ball, Kiss, Suckotash, Suck, Love Lights, Club Orgy and numerous other rare, and until recently, overlooked publications.

As federal laws in the United States were relaxed* redefining what was considered “obscene”, the flood gates opened and out poured an endless stream of adult oriented magazines, photographs, books and films. In a cultural and commercial sense the first legally protected “smut”, in the form of sexpapers, was now able to move out of fluorescent lit adult bookshops, into the daylight of American newsstands.

The most widely know of these publishers, Screw’s Al Goldstein, a hardcore New Yorker, displayed a “take no prisoners” attitude pushing free speech limits and community standards week after week. Along the way Goldstein and his talented staff created the look for a profitable sexpaper, received tons of publicity and gained notoriety based on explicit content and chutzpah!In its wake Screw influenced a cascade of imitators including a few, non-commercial, “free thinking” hippie types who reworked the concept into what could be called “adult only ‘zines”.  

These publications, Love, Hate and Finger took the form of “reader written” magazines, filled with articles, letters and photographs. They followed Suck, an international adult tabloid, published in Amsterdam by writers and libertines including Willem de Ritter, Germaine Greer and Jim Haynes. Suck was short-lived and disbanded amid internal squabbling in 1971 after seven issues. Out of its ashes came Love, circa 1975, with Willem de Ritter, relocated to the United States, at the helm.                                    

What makes these publications historically and culturally important is evident. What makes them rare? Like every other newspaper, they were made to be read and thrown away, the epitome of paper ephemera. Other than hoarders with a Collier Brother’s disorder, no one saves news-papers, especially sexpapers. Thankfully, smut collectors display their own type of obsessive compulsive behavior. What would we do without them!

- Joseph Vasta

* Federal obscenity law in the U.S. is unusual in that there is no uniform national standard. Former Justice
Potter Stewart of the Supreme Court of the United States, in 1964 in attempting to classify what material
constituted exactly "what is obscene," famously wrote ... "I shall not today attempt further to define the kind of material I understand to be embraced [as obscene] ... but I know it when I see it ..."

Additional judgements by the supreme court in 1966 and 1973 added definitions to what could be considered obscene. However, even though the court created criteria in ’73 to help define what was obscene, it left the deciding factor to be judged by “local community standards”. Today, these three rulings, the most recent over 40 years ago, still stand.


Artist's Books Ltd Ed: CBO + Le Dernier Cri + BonGout

Previewed here is a selection of rarely seen, out-of-print, limited edition silk screened books published by BonGout (aka re:Surgo!), Le Dernier Cri and Editions CBO. These books, along with other recent arrivals, will be displayed at my stand and available for purchase at the LA Art Book Fair '16 in February. Above: Coco Bel L'Oeil #3 Editions CBO 1994  $250.00
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POOOOO  Mark Beyer Editions  CBO 1996  $300.00

 Skull Skool  Antoine Bernhart  BonGout 2005  $150.00

 Torture Garden  Miss Candy  BonGout 1999  $85.00

 Je Veux Etre Ton Singe  Anne Van Der Linden  BonGout  2001  $75.00

Metal War A Cyberpunk Story  Le Dernier Cri 1998  $85.00

 Spellbound  Antoine Bernhart  BonGout 2003  $250.00

The Candidates  Le Dernier Cri 2012  $65.00

666 Frederic Jesus Borthel BonGout 2000  $50.00

Sunday, August 16, 2015

FADS & FANCIES Utopia Press England 1950s

Some of the most illusive publications of the 1950s were published in England by the Utopia Press. An extensive series of titles, drawing from the American, pin-upy covered pulps of the 1930s, included Studio Frolics, Ritzy Stories, Footlight Follies, Cowgirl Capers and Outdoor Antics. The contents were also similar, each title filled with "sexy saucy" stories of seduction. Simultaneously a sister publication Fads & Fancies which can properly be described as a fetish fashion magazine, presented "written by readers" letters and short fiction all related to obsessions with lingerie and high heel clad corpulent women in big hats and very tight clothing!

The common thread through all the Utopia titles are the incredible illustrations, both the text and full-page artwork and the color covers, signed by Janine. One of the particular areas of interest to the creators of Fads & Fancies were what we would call today, bbw (big beautiful women) posed provocatively with bulging curves brought on extremely tight, undersized lingerie; typically corsets, girdles, garter belts and brassieres. Here's a selection from my archives. More details from an earlier post.

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FEMALE IMPERSONATORS Madame Arthur Paris 1960s

The drag clubs in Paris,  Madame Arthur's and it's sister club La Carrousel, were ground breaking venues in Europe, presenting nightly shows of sophisticated female impersonators in a cabaret environment. Fifty-plus tears ago, and mostly forgotten in today's digital world, filled with news of the long overdue acceptance of gay and transgender men and women, this program, circa early 1960s, is a window into what "trans performers" of the era looked like. 

Among the regular performers at the club and featured in the program are Coccinelle (the first male to female sex change in France), Bambi, Zambella, Lola Chanel, Cooky & Caline and Capucine. Note the back cover advertising for La Carrousel.

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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Color 1960s Amateur Nudes American Snapshot Photos

A collection of small format color, amateur photos, circa 1960s, not doubt "processed" at the corner drug store ... "yeah, they'll be ready to be picked up on Friday". 50 years ago and looking very contemporary in today's world of the selfie! 
From my archives.

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1950s Busty Babes Nudes & Lingerie Pix

Going back to some of the first nude material I collected were the 4x5" glossy photos sold in glassine wrapped sets in the adult bookshops lining New York City's 42nd Street. Most of what started the collection were photos purchased in the lower Manhattan flea markets "back in the day". Here's a selection of some posers from the archives, in and out of lingerie, garter belts and stockings.

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