Monday, March 26, 2012

Rudolf Schlichter as masochist

Rudolf Schlichter (1890-1955), a German dada and 'new objectivity' artist, was a masochist and boot fetishist. During his studies in Karlsruhe he lived by selling pornographic graphics. In 1927 he met Elfriede Elisabeth Koehler (1902-1975), a young courtesan from Geneva called Speedy. She shared his interests and two years later they got married.
Speedy became a center of Schlichter's life. Schlichter always felt to be excluded from conventional society because of his erotic fantasies and Speedy's immediate influence transformed his life as well as his art. She was both a Madonna and a Domina, his Beatrice and his Muse. She gave him a sense of security and belonging.

Schlichter's key fetishistic fantasy, pompadour-heeled knee-high buttoned boots, became an important part of Speedy's wardrobe. Their wedding photograph shows Speedy wearing Her new made-to-measure high buttoned boots.
In 1930s Schlichter's art became dominated by Speedy herself who appears in numerous works in a variety of roles and guises. The following aquarelle named 'Domina mea' is probably his most famous masochistic work:
Under Nacis his activities were greatly curtailed. The infamous Entartete Kunst exhibit was the only significant representation of his 'degenerate art' during these years. The combination of Nazi oppression and the bombing of his studio in 1942 destroyed many of Schlichter's most important drawings and oil portraits.

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