In the Magazine: Dan Gluibizzi
The following is an excerpt from the October issue of Juxtapoz. The issue is available in our webstore.
Voyeur's voyeur Dan Gluibizzi trolls the thousands of erotic sites that serve as archives for couples, strangers, nudists, swingers, amateurs, exhibitionists and other patrons of provocative recreation. The Portland-based artist, obsessed with the Tumblr format of imaging vaults, has a unique approach to the digital and analog world which allows him to investigate and recontextualize a swath of NSFW material and revel in the new exhibitionism enabled by the information age. His paintings present a fetishized framework of playful and experimental sexuality, coupled with his own appreciation for art history and background in printmaking.
By detaching individuals from their original context, focus shifts to the purity of the forms themselves, rather than a recreation of the act. Without a linear narrative, these forms freely create a host of enthralling interactions. Through photoshop, projection and watercolor, Gluibizzi gives new life, expression and purpose to his subjects, with line and form serving as vehicles for his delicious, sorbet-colored smut. —Gabe Scott
Gabe Scott: Tumblr seems to be your preferred site for compiling source material. What is it about that particular search engine that suits you?
Dan Gluibizzi: Tumblr users, especially those who make blogs featuring adult content, are wonderfully obsessive. They meticulously organize digital scrapbooks of their favorite sub-genres of pornography. Many offer the widest range of poses and body types I have ever found. If I am searching for nudes on boats, there will be several Tumblr blogs, likely with hundreds of images. In the process of collecting nudes on boats, I will discover some variation which will lead me in a surprising new direction.
Does the format have any influence on your composition or arrangement of subject matter?
In most of my work, I remove figures from the context of the overall image while still referencing the charmingly bizarre and discordant groupings found on the blogs. Tumblr has the option to look at blogs in an archive format, which allows most images to be seen at one time with the least design distraction. I have made several works from entire screen grabs of Tumblr blogs in the archive format. Each scroll of the staggered grid creates a new tapestry of thumbnails, not unlike a Google image search, except that the images on a Tumblr blog are assembled with care and intention by an individual. There are billions of posts on Tumblr being continually sorted, catalogued and reposted. It is a nutrient rich sea of images.
How many Tumblrs do you follow, and what subjects hold the most interest for you? Are there things you consciously look for when accumulating imagery to work with, or is it more of just going down the rabbit hole to see where it leads?
There was a time I was following over a thousand. Now I rarely even sign in. Following that many blogs was unmanageable. The titles rarely reflect the content, and after a while, I had no idea what anything was.
I find it is much easier to Google search: “subject + Tumblr.” I am an omnivorous image collector, from the artful to the gross-out. Red carpet, art openings, nude beaches, silver foxes and the wedding photo booth all make for rich source material. Badly cropped amateur images of all types? To the front of the line! If you are looking for women exposing themselves in grocery stores or men sheetrocking nude, Tumblr is still the best. I search sites that appeal to the prurient interest. I gather images that show the love and sometimes sleazy camaraderie found in these varied communities. I allow for a lot of aimless clicking, but when I become fixated on a certain pose or setting, I am a focused hunter. Unlike out-of-print publications, blogs vanish forever. Snusk.tumblr was one of those, an amazing resource of amateur-posted adult content that disappeared, along with many others. All heartbreaking losses.
Pre-blogosphere, did you have an obsession for trolling random found images? Thrift stores, vacant houses, estate sales, places of that nature?
I still dig around in secondhand stores and other people’s basements if given a chance. I’ve spent a great deal of my life in used bookstores and junk shops. Over a decade ago, I wandered into an adult bookshop that did not have any shelves, just piles of vintage porn magazines and VHS tapes in rows on the floor. It was a treasure trove. I wish I could have bought everything. As much as I enjoy collecting images online, erotica is always better as part of an object: a snapshot, a magazine, a painting, a sculpture. As everything becomes digitized, my aim is to return some of the compelling images I find back into objects. I have boxes full of clippings and copies from decades of flipping through newspapers and magazines, collecting trash off the street and poring over stacks of thrift store porn. And now I have drawers full of flash drives too.
Read the full interview in our October, 2015 issue, available here.