These three painted panels were a private commission, designed for a client's
dungeon space. This project came to me by way of my friend Sunny Cover, partner
to my Tranceptor co-creator, tattoo artist Patrick Conlon. At the time (1997/1998),
Sunny was managing Stormy Leather, a local fetish shop and site of my first solo
San Francisco art show in 1993. She had a customer who was looking to
decorate his play space with original artwork. She had shown him my book
Lumenagerie and he wanted to know if I was willing to work on some large-
scale pieces. I was more than ready and submitted a number of designs
incorporating the elements of suspension and sensory deprivation that he
was interested in.
In the painted version, the Suspension image was split down the center
into two 72 " x 24 " (1830 mm x 610 mm) wooden panels with the standing
male figure as the dividing point. These two tall vertical panels flanked the
central 48 " x 48 " (1220 mm x 1220 mm) Candelabra panel.
The slave and dominatrix characters were painted in black and white with
a gloss finish against a matte ox blood background while the tubes and
chains of the apparatus surrounding them were done in an iridescent metallic
copper. Depending on the angle from which they were viewed and how the
light struck them, different details would emerge.
The large-scale versions of the pieces were exhibited only once at an event
that Patrick and I threw at San Francisco's DNA club to celebrate the release
of the Tranceptor graphic novel.
This photo originally appeared in the November 1998 issue of UK shock-feature magazine Bizarre, accompanying Fiona Jerome's cover story on banned books. A strategically placed copy of The Spider Garden (first edition cover) is prominently featured. To my knowledge, The Spider Garden has never been officially banned or censored but this was a first in that my book was used to censor something else - ie. the model's nude body. The original photo is by Tim O'Sullivan - and I've included a larger version of the first-edition book cover.