In an era when fetish was still an anthropological term and men’s magazines relied on code words like specialty and mature, a pioneering Armenian pornographer with an unerring instinct for cultural taboos was busy inventing his own daring adult genre. Though his name is no longer mentioned alongside Hefner and Flynt, Milt Abdjourian’s bold, single-minded dedication to fabric, attire, and hyper-specialized contextual perversion lives on in dozens of colorful titles and still-provocative covers.
Los Angeles scofflaw photographer and writer Scot Sothern has dangled from the rim of propriety his entire career. His revealing images and quick stories have been exhibited and translated around the globe. His whore-noir NSFW column, Nocturnal Submissions, had us asking for more picture and stories from his camera and keyboard. So we asked Scot to whip up new column that gives us another look at life from low angles. This is Sothern Exposure.
At the North Florida Fair in Tallahassee, I’ve rented a booth in a pavilion where vendors are hawking everything from macramé to handguns. I’m a knockabout portrait photographer and I’ve got my photos on display—Floridian denizens, sexy girls and mothers, cherubic babies, and Republican businessmen. I give out coupons for a free portrait sitting while the passersby “ooh” and “ahh” my photos and the blue ribbons attached to the frames.
I hang a sign that says “I’ll be back.” I walk down the midway through the dirt and noise, the rides and the squeals, to the girlie show. The marquee reads “New York Alley-Kat Revue.” The canvas tent is drab and dusty with primary colored banners on shiny oilcloth. There is a stage in front of the canvas backdrop with a black girl on it. And there is a guy on a tall stool at the ticket counter howling words into a microphone that’s spurt out through the tent’s muffled speakers.
The super special September issue of VICE was exclusively culled from the archives of Bob Guccione Sr.—the legendary magazine publisher who built a media empire that started with Penthouse.
Moscow Is a Paradise
Sasha Mademuaselle's favorite city is Moscow, which isn't all that surprising given it's where she was born and raised. Sasha says that what she particularly loves about her hometown is “the freedom the youth have,” which—considering the recent news aboutPutin viciously restricting freedoms for young people—was kind of surprising.
Still, her photos are great, so we’ll just excuse that last part as narrative license and enjoy all the naked people, dinosaurs, and creepy tattoos instead.
Swedish photographer Lina Scheynius used to be the queen of Flickr in the early 00s. Back then, she posted pictures of her life, her friends, and self-portraits. Her photos received attention for their extremely intimate and sincere nature—or, to put it another way, many of them were pictures of her naked.
Today, although not much has changed in her subject matter, Lina regularly photographs for magazines like Vogue, Dazed and Cofused, and Oyster. For her personal work, Lina publishes small, private volumes of her pictures, with the fifth volume, titled simply 05, just released. I caught up with her for a chat.
VICE: Hey, Lina. In your new book, are you focusing on the same body of work as in your other personal photographic diaries?
Lina Scheynius: Yes, though naturally it keeps evolving over time. But there are still only pictures of what is right in front of me and part of my life. This book is also full of self-portraits, something I have gone back to focusing on lately.
Do you make a distinction between personal work made for yourself and personal work with publishing in mind?
Not really. It’s a bit of a mess on my hard drive, to be honest. I don’t really know what is what until I end up publishing it. I don’t take a lot of straight up and down personal pictures, such as family pictures at fun fairs and Christmas dinners, but if I do you never know what you might end up using them for.
It’s no great secret that VICE loves Richard Kern. Why? Because he’s one of the hardest working and smartest photographers shooting today. Stop asking stupid questions. Tonight, Richard is having an opening for his newest show, “Medicated, etc.” which features some totally new work, including the unveiling of Richard’s film, Medicated, which features cute girls talking about all the prescription pills they take. You can check out the unreleased trailer of it below. He also gave us these fantastic double exposures, which allow you to experience the X-ray vision we all wish we had. We think they rule, but hey, we like cute girls. And Richard. Go to the show!
131 Allen Street
Opening 6 to 8 PM
Today, Thursday, September 5
Will 3D Hentai Kill the Internet Porn Star?
Poke around the cum-stained corners of the internet’s vilest porn repositories, and you’ll find that it doesn’t get much filthier than cartoons. Freed of the body’s physical limitations, animated porn stars can keep guzzling demon dick long after Sasha Grey succumbs to lock jaw. Thanks to its ability to fulfill all taboo desires, hentai (the Japanese word we used to describe all kinds of cartoon smut) has always skewed kinky and now that it’s entering the realm of hyper-realistic 3D animations, it’s only bound to get weirder.
3D hentai is still relatively niche. A Google search only yields 8 million hits, while regular hentai generates 26 times as many results. This won’t be the case for long, because unlike the frozen faces of their two-dimensional counterparts, the computer-rendered porn stars of 3D hentai look positively fleshy. And when their asses jiggle, even their buttcracks cast a shadow. Anyone can see why this is an improvement.
Our attraction to digital verisimilitude is nothing new. Mainstream video games, CGI films, and even advertising have long been aiming for OCD-level attention to detail. Cartoon porn is just catching up. As the adult film industry grinds to a halt again from yet another HIV scare, it’s easy to see why these digital avatars could easily replace frail disease prone adult actors. Honestly, I can’t wait to never see another awkward porn star faking an orgasm.
As for its content, 3D hentai is rife with the same demon rapes, tentacle fucking, and barely disguised pedophilia found in its 2D equivalent. And while you might chalk up these fetishes to our degraded modern condition, one of the earliest and most well-known erotic cartoons is, in fact, a woodblock from 1814 called The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife, which depicts a woman with her legs spread wide, getting pleasured in all her welcoming orifices by an octopus. In other words, creepy sex isn’t a new phenomenon. Weird shit has always lit up our proverbial fires.