Not Safe For Work (if your work frowns on sexuality in art.)
By Chris Jalufka | 09.12.13
Illustrator Keith P. Rein’s creative voice is devoutly sexual. Whimsical. His ‘Food Porn‘ series of paintings read like a burlesque striptease of Americana. The implied sexual conduct censored with ice cream, corn, hot dogs; the icons of the suburban summertime.
When discussing his mixture of eroticism and humor in our interview, Keith said —
‘That is the essential thought between every piece of mine, whimsical erotica. Sexuality should be playful and sex should be as well. It gives each flavor balance, like salty and sweet. Which happens to be my favorite flavor combination as well.’
I approached Keith about commissioning him to create a banner design for Evil Tender Dot Com, I just gave him the concept — ‘the working artist.‘ Those that have turned their creativity into a career.
I didn’t give him any guidance outside of that core concept. I dig his work and trust his instincts. I was just excited to see what he’d come up with.
He was up for the job and a few weeks later he sent me his finished piece —
This is Keith’s second self portrait, and it’s incredible. To have even a minor part of it existing is pretty thrilling.
As an artist’s tool, the self portrait is a mirror and a signal. A skewed reflection, a fetishist ideal. Self deprecating or self actualizing. Keith took the concept of the working artist and turned it onto himself — Keith P. Rein as a woman, sexual and confident. Bold.
His tools are there — the stylus, the comfortable chair, the convention badge. The accountant’s visor. The working artist, Keith P. Rein style.
Inside the painting are hints at where it came from. Messages to the observant eye.
Tattooed on her arm, a pair of Keith’s glasses. The Comic Con badge made out to Evil Tender Dot Com.
For the tender-hearted and the young that may pass through, Keith also made a ‘censored version,’ which means he covered his breasts with a tasteful swath of pink to match the crimson panties he’s wearing.
The image had to be edited to fit the requirements of the website, so in the end it became this —
It is a total delight to commission work from artists that I love. A gift when they say ‘yes.’
If this site has any true statement of what it wants to accomplish, it’s to get the public to seek out art that they love, contact the artist, and buy directly from them — commission the artists that you love and respect to create something unique for you.
There is only so much time on this rock and a house only has so many walls, so go fill them with art that moves you. Art that you feel a connection to.
Stores like Ikea and Bath, Bath, & Beyond have pre-framed art ready to go, but does it inspire you? Does it say anything to you? Speak your name with a warm voice?
Big thanks once again to Keith P. Rein for agreeing to play along for this piece. I love it. It speaks to me. It knows my name.
Keith has made this available as a print on his Society6 Store. All proceeds go to Mr. Rein to ensure that he’s able to make more art.
Previously on ETDC – ‘Hardcore & Whimsy: An Interview with Artist Keith P. Rein’
If you want to see more of Keith’s work, check out the list of links below –
Keith’s site the P is for penis
Keith P. Rein on Instagram
Keith P. Rein on Etsy
Keith P. Rein on Society6