San Francisco is where you will find Folsom Street on google maps and this is where the original Folsom Street Fair took place back in 1984, a full five years before the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was 19 years later that the first Folsom Europe was first celebrated in 2003.
The original leather fetish events took most of their cues from the 1950’s motorcycle scene in the USA as well as the historic uniforms of WW2 – “a la Tom of Finland”. This classic leather fetish attire still stands strong today but is infused with many contemporary influences including rubber, sports, fitness and puppy play.
Some will travel to Berlin to enjoy the unique experience of just relaxing in public in their full fetish regalia to drink a big german ‘Bier vom Fass’, smoke a cigar and catch up with old friends. Others arrive with great expectations of what the notorious Berlin party scene has to offer and arrive ready for their mission, diving head first into an agenda filled with fetish, sex, drugs, and circuit/techno music. Many have spent most of the past year preparing for their Folsom EU experience with countless hours at the gym, eating lean, and possibly getting a little help from chemistry to assist them in achieving their built for action bodies – all too eager for some photo ops in their stretched to the limits leather and rubber.
In the spirit of this season, it is with great pleasure that we have the honor of showcasing the artworks of Kenny Mencher to help celebrate this yearly event. He uses his talents to capture intimate moments of some Folsom worthy males in his artworks. His color palettes and pattern choices are softer by design and his portraits are constructed with generous amounts of paint on the canvas – all executed with an acute accuracy, narrating a graphic novel of testosterone filled stories.
This particular group he shares intentionally spotlights the over 40 crowd and for good reason. With the rampant age discrimination that runs within our community, Kenny willfully chooses to focus on very sexy but more mature models. The artist himself is of this age group and recently gave up his university teaching position to paint full time. He felt that he needed dedicate more efforts to his studio work and speak out about this prejudice and other topics via his drawings and paintings.
Through this series he proves that sexiness is not determined by a number, but rather with an attitude. Either you have it or you don’t, and these guys that Kenney paints surely DO have it. His men are presented in a traditional close up portrait and tell a very manly story with no nudity, no erections, no sex acts, just very sexy portraits. He visualizes the point that there is much more to sexiness than a dick pic.
With an another element of contrast, Kenney does not paint the backgrounds of these fetish portraits with the dark and hard scenarios that we might expect. Instead, his use of pastels and wallpaper like patterns gives each portrait a twist that completely contrasts the macho & bad boy image that everyone envisions. This could represent the juxtaposition of their everyday life with their fetishes, the times before or after the party, or their life of fetish in privacy. Further pushing the notion that these are all basically real people just like you and me.
Most of all have fun this September and be ready to answer when someone asks … Who’s your daddy? (bb)