Photography

Check out this weird and beautiful erotic 1970s photography (NSFW)

A treasure trove of unique erotic photography has been discovered by pure chance, revealing the life’s work of man who nobody suspected was an artist.

John Kayser was born in 1922 in North Dakota and lived most of his life in California. Little is known about his personal life aside from mundane biographical facts that seem perfectly normal – even boring – at first review.

He briefly served WWII as an armorer, and worked most of his adult life at Northrup Aircraft in Los Angeles, first in assembly and later as a technical illustrator. Some notes also reveal Kayser married a woman named Lillya at some point in his life.

But it turns out that behind closed doors, Kayser was a talented erotic artist. Kayser’s art went completely unrecognised during his lifetime, and was discovered only by accident after his death in 2007 by a Los Angeles contractor commissioned to clear out his home.

The little we know about his life has been gathered from the notes and letters found alongside nearly 2,500 photographs and more than 300 8mm films, as well as countless drawings and other art works.

He was mainly untrained in the arts, having only studied briefly at the Art Center of Los Angeles and the Allied Art School in Glendale, California.

His work exists in a gray area, somewhere between outsider artist, voyeur and amateur pornographer. Kayser created a makeshift studio in his home, utilising simple props such as vases, oranges and pies.

He met his models at various different places – work, art club meetings, bars, strip clubs – and almost always depicted them facing away from the camera while sitting naked on his peculiar props, and sometimes even on his face.

In many cases, the models appear in several works many years apart, suggesting Kayser had a good working relationships with his subjects.

Eric Kroll, a fetish photographer and collector, bought all of Kayser’s work.

“I think these photos had a dual purpose for him: to paint from and to get off on, sexually,” Kroll said. “The work runs the gamut from classical nude to extremely intimate. But if the definition for pornography is gratuitous imagery to sell, then John wasn’t a pornographer.”

Naked butts are not the only motif that repeats throughout these photographs. This work is one of obsession with female beauty, a fixation that also denotes an underlying need to be touched, held and even crushed.

“There is always a woman sitting on something, or there’s someone standing on his face, or cars driving over objects, himself under a car,” said Max Farago, owner of FARAGO gallery in Los Angeles. “There is always contact.”

Farago is hosting Direct, an exhibit of Kayser’s photographs and films, at his gallery this September, and Ampersand Gallery  – who co-owns the body of work – published a book titled Sitting which currently is out of print.