Fetish Focus showcases the work of creatives around the globe and highlight how fetish has inspired them. With the help of Recon member BlackBoot11, we're providing a platform for artists to highlight how fetish has inspired and influenced them – celebrating what it is that gets you thinking and what gets you off.
Recon member alexleatherboy by Blackboot11
There are many gatherings around the world where you can celebrate leather fetish, but one of the more famous ones started back in September 1984, with Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco, then over 20 years later, with its younger brother Folsom Europe in Berlin. These events make September a perfect time to present the talented Spanish artist Alex Partal – member alexleatherboy - and his amazing portraits of leathermen. Currently, he lives in Bogotá, Columbia and plans on returning to Spain in the near future. Here is what he has to say about his paintings:
BB: Do you paint in acrylic or oils?
AP: Mostly oil painting. I also like to work with different techniques like watercolour, digital painting or even markers, but the one I use more often is oil. I'm not a big fan of acrylic.
BB: Are the subjects of your paintings from fantasy or real life?
AP: All the guys I paint are from real life. I work a lot with portraits, so to have a real reference is totally necessary for me. Until now, I was only able to work with pictures that men send me, I would like to start painting from life as soon as possible or be able to take the photos by myself and direct how people should pose for the paintings.
BB: Self-taught or art school?
AP: Definitely art school. I began with drawing lessons when I was 12 years old and then, when was 18, I started at the College of Fine Arts in Valencia (Spain), plus I've also done some painting studies in Bogotá too.
BB: Are these subjects from your local leather scene or other locations?
AP: The guys I paint are from around the world - guys from Australia, USA, or Europe. Right now, I depend a lot of social media because what I am looking for is not always available locally.
BB: How did you get started painting leather guys? AP: During my teenage years, I usually drew characters with leather clothes in comic book style, so I feel it was the natural step to start painting leathermen. Later on, I began to paint leather guys when I started to study at college.
BB: What first attracted you to the leather scene?
AP: As a man with a passion for leather, of course it is the leather itself - the feel, the look, and its smell - but as an artist, I see within the leather scene a lot of possibilities to make great art pieces. My imagination runs wild and I can't stop looking at men and their gear. Sometimes I started art pieces just from seeing a sexy motorcycle jacket or skin-tight leather pants that show off a good bulge.
BB: What do you see as your next project? More leather guys, or other fetishes?
AP: I have worked mostly in portraiture, so I hope to expand my narrative and make pieces that tell bigger stories - maybe mixing fetish with classic culture, or other topics I've been thinking about recently. At first, I was very focused working only with leather, but at the moment, rubber has started to appear in some pieces and I don't know if this is going to continue to grow more. Let's see where it goes.
BB: Are you now taking on commission requests from other leather/fetish guys?
AP: Right now, I'm not accepting commissions because I'm in the middle of a strange hiatus in my life. After almost six years living in Bogotá I will return to my hometown in Spain very soon. I hope to open an online shop and then start to accept commissions early next year.
BB: What is the local leather scene like there in Bogotá in comparison to San Francisco, London or Berlin?
AP: While in Bogotá, I was really focused in my studies and for such a large city, I didn't enjoy the leather scene much here because it was very different than more open cities like San Francisco or in Europe. I would like to discover more of the leather world of different places in the future, while living in Spain.
Keep connected with Alex on his Recon: alexleatherboy or see more of his artworks on his site: alexpartal.com