Francesco Tortorella‘s Weird Love focuses on the darker and sometimes creepy side of sex. These erotic illustrations, drawn with sketch-like wavering lines and striking colours, have a unique style that I think fits the kinky subject matter.
Overall the images seem to focus on the BDSM and fetishism side of sexual relationships, but I think they can be interpreted metaphorically as well. I Love You Too Honey shows a person’s hands cutting up a heart with a knife and fork. You Never Come Closer is a picture of two naked bodies lying next to each other, but with their hands barely touching. I think this piece is romantic in a sad way. A Taste of Honey, which the artist says is a tribute to infamous photographer Terry Richardson, shows Richardson performing oral sex on a woman. What Do You Want Now Darling shows a woman stabbing her lover with a knife, and uses a cool negative space effect.
The drawings use lots of red, white, and black. The large areas of colour have a pattern to them: some look destressed, as if they are paper that has been crinkled or scratched, while others have a gritty texture to them.
The works’ titles are often written on and integrated into the illustrations. Some of these titles are inspired by songs, such as Sugar Never Tasted So Good (a song by the White Stripes), You Never Come Closer (by Doris), and A Taste of Honey (performed by Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass and The Beatles, among others).
Other titles are examples of wordplay, including Greatest Tits and Milf Shake. I really like the humor behind these. Milf Shake shows a hand pinching a jiggling rear end, while in Greatest Tits woman is holding a music record which has a breast on the cover over her own breasts.
“Love can be a bargaining chip, a blackmail weapon, source of deliverance and a sweet slavery, but it always exposes us to dangers and reveals our deepest nature. The power relation it implies can also turn into a game, and games can be fun and painful at the same time,” reads the press release for one of Tortorella’s exhibitions.
Tortorella is from Rome, where he runs a film post-production and visual effects company.