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Active ORIGINAL 8 ½ by 11 inch ARTIST PRINT: REX - SUBWAY SAILOR

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Rexwerk San Francisco, CA US
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Details
  • Condition This uncirculated print is in pristine condition, with no stains, bends, cuts or creases; issued by the artist in a numbered edition with an embedded NFC certificate of authenticity and date of print issued by the artist.
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Description

SUBWAY SAILOR

Pristine uncirculated REX 8 ½ by 11 inch print on 300gsm gloss archival stock with pigment-based inks from the artist's original negative: Entitled SUBWAY SAILOR it was created in the spring of 1974 and completed on May 20th on Saint Marks place on the Lower East Side in New York. It reflects the artist's lifelong fascination with sailors, which were a frequent fixture roaming the waterfront of New York at the time of the Vietnam War I1955-1975). It was also a time when the Navy was transitioning from the tight, sexy classic sailor uniforms of World War II, and replacing them with a conservative dark suit and tie to order to harmonize better with the officers' uniforms. This effort was driven by the increasing gentrification of the modern navy. Unfortunately, the new dress code also had the effect of dispelling the illusion of sailors as sex objects in gay men's traditional sexual fantasies. However, when SUBWAY SAILOR was drawn, a sailor in uniform was still a staple of homosexual folklore, and could sometimes still be encountered late at night exposing themselves to "faggots" on New York subways when the bars let out. It first appeared one year later in the artist's first self-published work, a pamphlet-sized 32 page 'zine called "MANNESPIELEN : a portfolio of drawings by Rex, Number One", issued on June 15th 1975.  This uncirculated print is in pristine condition, with no stains, bends or creases; issued by the artist in a numbered edition exclusively through AdultStuffOnly with an embedded NFC certificate of authenticity and date of print by the artist.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

REX is a living American artist who has been closely associated with homosexual fetish art since the late nineteen sixties in New York and San Francisco. Currently living in Europe, he avoids photographs and does not give interviews.  His ground-breaking drawings and virtuoso ink technique influenced two generations of gay culture through a series of self-published underground portfolios and the many commercial graphics he created for famous gay bars, tattoo parlors and nightclubs. The latter includes the posters, calendars, and t-shirts he designed for the legendary New York sex club the MINESHAFT. Beginning in the late nineteen sixties, before STONEWALL, his Greenwich Village work predated and influenced his contemporaries - such as Robert Mapplethorpe (1946-1989) - and appeared in thousands of gay publications from 1972 until the present. His often politically incorrect subject matter served as lighting-rods for censorship battles throughout his career, making him persona non grata to the art establishment which to this day refuses to discuss his work in print.  As a consequence, he remains a shadowy figure in the art world.

On July 1, 1981, REX opened his own gallery REXWERK off Folsom in the formerly notorious South of Market district in San Francisco. Only ten days later it was destroyed in a massive fire at The Barracks bathhouse that was undergoing renovation across the street. The fire could not have come at a worse time, for that was the same month the first case of AIDS was diagnosed in the city of San Francisco. Nevertheless, REX’s work continued to appear regularly featured in wide variety of gay publications both in the US and Europe, such as Manifest, Drummer, Mach, Stroke, The Advocate, 18 Wheeler, Leather Journal, Cuir, Boner, Just Men, Torso, Inches, Instigator, Uncut, Straight To Hell and In Touch among many others.

A contemporary of the late Tom of Finland (1920-1991), REX's raw graphic ink work served as a dystopian contrast to TOM's idyllic non-threatening imagery rendered in the softer medium of lead pencil.  Over his long career REX has known such colleagues as Etienne (1933-1999), The Hun (1938-2029), Al Shapiro ("A Jay" 1932-1987), Harry Bush (1925–1994), Neal Bate ("Blade" 1916-1988), Michael Kirwin (1953-2018) and the British artist Bill Ward (1927-1996).  REX’s many commissions included posters for gay bars including The Lure and Rawhide in New York, The Powerhouse and Lone Star in San Francisco, and the DC Eagle in Washington as well as the infamous Saint parties, and PLEASURE CHEST and TASTE OF LEATHER sex emporiums. He has exhibited at Leslie-Lohman in New York, and had shows in Europe in Amsterdam, Berlin, Köln, and Antwerp.

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