🕌🌼Jasmine Baths🌼🕌 So I absolutely despise orientalism as much as I love orientalism. During the 19th century, the depiction of the Middle East in the arts was romanticised (ahem fetishised) through this theme.
Sunken baths, rich fabrics, Jasmine, opulence, decadence and all that stuff. Sound alright innit? Well it would’ve been if white powers didn’t tie it in with factors that reduced the people into sexualised stereotypes; horny, lazy, base intellect, with little control over smallest desires. And in the process robbing people of the attention deserved for bringing culture and civilianisation. Academic, artistic and scientific progress we associate with western discovery was done way before in Afghan and Syria.
But why do I also love? Shit helped me discover my own sense of sexuality and sensuality. Growing up in the 90’s, middle eastern faces portrayed in positive sexuality was no where to be seen. Being mixed race added another layer of difficulty despite the privilege it awards now in later life.
Accepting my position as a gay man didn’t help either as there wasn’t a figure I could look to for validation to consider my skin tone as desirable.
Enter orientalism. It’s racial fetishisation, I said. A prototype for what porn does to anyone that isn’t white but *~intellectual~*.
But it was something, it was the FIRST thing I saw that allowed me to relate in a way I needed.
I adopted the approach of languorous sensuality and over time, it matured. I shed off the aspects that were meant to demonise and softened it to take on tenderness, a focus on using it to connect. The haremesque qualities transformed to allow themselves to be there because I wanted them without allowing it to follow an archaic stereotype.
It’s not reclamation, because it was never mine to begin with. It’s literally taking what was meant to oppress, taking the pretty parts and chucking the shit that need not apply. .
#illustration #queer #gay #digitalillustration #digitalpainting #illustration #digitalart #instagay #queerart #genderqueer #illustrator #art #illustratorsoninstagram #homosexual #queerillustration #lgbt #lgbtq #pride #gayartist #gouache - 10 minutes ago