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Venus in Furs

Mercury

“Aristotle and Phyllis” - Johann Sadeler after Bartholomeus Spranger, 1586 - 1595

Most of you probably recognise the goddess Venus and her straight connection with love and carnal pleasures. As every single thing in the world, so love has its darker side.

For this design the wanted to explore the emotionally bizarre and intense face of masochist love. We found a great inspiration in Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s controversial work – ”Venus in Furs”.

“Venus in Furs” defined the term “masochism” after his creator. We follow Wanda, the desirable goddess treating Severin in the most degrading ways. He asked for it in order to have her attention. He submits passionately to the will of her, to be humiliated, abused, and tormented, even to the verge of death. We actually see a signed contract at the end of the book affirming (an excerpt from “Psychopathia Sexualis” by Richard von Krafft-Ebing )

Nowadays the term has its major recognition in sexual context – Bondage, Shibari, Leather, Handcuffs, Gimps, etc. That kind of attribution reduces a lot an idea that is far too serious. We live under any kind of submission in our actual lives, we kneel down accepting our miserable fate and we eventually like it. It makes us fell safer.

Our own version shows the mighty goddess as a symbol of our unattainable desires. Not only about the realm of feeling but also related to power itself – the thirst to have, to own. In the process we suffer endless humiliations just to find out frustration. In the other hand, Venus could represent our goals, our objectives and our inspiration for keeping struggling.

She is represented blindfolded so we can’t see her true face or what her eyes hide. She’s also sacred and untouchable as the halo suggests.

We wanted to make it a little more sexier so we opted to go naughty and represent a scene of masturbation. Symbolically speaking, the masturbation could be described as an act of carnal imitation of the full spiritual experience of the sexual relation.

The side figures are stuck in the dark mud (triangle) and even the wings look immovable.

We would say that Venus is the icon for our prayers, the object of all our unreachable desires and secret fantasies.

”Venus in Furs” or ”Venus with a Mirror” - Titian, 1555.
“Venus between Ceres and Bacchus” - Hendrik Goltzius, 1590.
“Venus and Adonis” - Hendrik Goltzius, 1614.
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