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OVER A QUARTER CENTURY OF DEDICATION TO PROTECTING, PRESERVING AND PROMOTING EROTIC ART.

DISPATCH FALL 2002

celso junior

soldiers, death & orgasm;

catharsis and transfiguration

(Based on a text in Portuguese by Jose Fernando Tavares.)

Every man is the product of his inheritance, and this informs his imagery.

Celso Junior

When speaking of art, this imagery assumes various forms, and the artist is the medium through which it takes shape. The artist forges his own path despite criticism, disapproval, or spiritual despair. Often a cursed figure, he upsets the status quo and challenges the order of things, damned for illuminating his tormented existence. Paradoxically, though his life suggests sacrifice, spiritual upheaval, and self-destruction, the artist seeks the exact opposite, though in the process his is the devil’s hand. His life is an interminable journey and from the outset he intuits his own downfall.

The artist loves and kills the actual love of killing, sacrificing himself for himself every day. Each picture and every image represents a part of him cut out and hung up, at the mercy of the avid butcher who observes. The artist has to feel these intense parts of himself passionately, relating to them as if it were the last day of his life. In the work of Celso Junior this imagery is ever present, leading us to the other side of things where only shadows exist—the bad ghost, loss of self in orgasm, and its parallels with death—last rites to be compared only with the idea of complete perfection.

The soldier as motif is a consistent personal image in the work of Celso Junior, a clue to the painter’s aesthetic. He kills with all the violence he can muster, and in so doing is ready to die himself. Only the soldier matches this ideal, his primary mission not to kill but to die, because in death all the secrets of the universe are revealed. The association between orgasm and death is the underpinning of Celso Junior’s paintings.

This is a world of shadows that only light and color can overcome. The Devil is both the Angel of Light (who decides the colors of the universe) and the Lord of Darkness. Color is the cultural background of Celso Junior: they are inseparable. In his work the vibrancy of color reflects his aesthetic of the pleasure of pain.  


"Massacre", 1993, 46" x 32", Oil on canvas


"Paulo & Inacio", 1993, 44" x 63", Oil on canvas

These two paintings have been generously donated to the Foundation's Permanent Collection and may be seen at the Headquarters beginning with the September 2002 Art Crawl. 

Celso Junior has an intense love of boots. “I’ve lived this passion since I was a child. I have more than 250 pairs of boots: Cavalry high boots, heavy rubber boots, and waders—in different sizes for my models. This collection means everything to me, but the the best boots are the ones that fit other men: a true policeman or workman that I encounter on the street.

“There isn’t any other object as beautiful and intense as some boots—and my eyes were made only to appreciate them.”

Which does he prefer: painting portraits or creating fantasies? “Both, because I always paint from a model. I don’t take pleasure painting from a picture in a magazine or one taken by someone else. The process has to be mine from the beginning. The portraits are, for me, the top of creation: One can have one’s model as well as a touch of his soul—sharing a magic situation where fantasies are created for both.”  


Celso Junior, “Octavio”, 1997, oil on canvas, 30.75" x 41.75", $1,500, #023-001

These two works are available through the Foundation - please contact Volker Morlock at volker@artnet.net or (310) 229-5251


Celso Junior, “Skin III”, 1995, oil on canvas, 37.75" x 26.75", $3,000, #023-002

Celso Junior’s work provokes various responses. “I never think about that,” he says, “because I always paint for my own pleasure. I never paint thinking about other people. But if you want to know the response I enjoy most, the answer is get horny!

Born in Guararapes São Paulo, Brazil on February 5, 1961, Celso Junior received an academic degree in painting from Escola de Música e Belas Artes do Paraná in Curitiba, Brazil in 1985. Since 1989, he has resided in Lisbon, Portugal. In addition to painting, Celso Junior created and organized the Lisbon Gay And Lesbian Film Festival, now in its sixth year.

— Larry Schubert


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ENCOURAGEMENT
"My drawings are primarily meant for guys who may have experienced misunderstanding and oppression and feel that they have somehow failed in their lives. I want to encourage them. I want to encourage this minority group, to tell them not to give up, to think positively about their act and whole being." (1990) — Tom of Finland