May 1, 2014

The Surrealistic Nudes of Lembit Sarapuu

These photos by Triinu Jurves on the Noolegruppe blog for Estonian artists are entitled A Homage to Lembit Sarapuu.  There are several other photos of semi-nude men flexing their muscles in rustic settings.

I'm interested in any artist who inspires semi-nude male photographs.  But who is this Lembit Sarapuu?

The Estonian version of Wikipedia just states that he was born in 1930, he's won several awards, he's interested in surrealism, and he's married to a sculptor.

The surrealism is obvious: Euro Referendum in Estonia depicts two Western Europeans in 1950s garb trying to interview Estonia, depicted as a wild man, naked,  fully aroused.

Kalevipoeg and the King of the Underworld, depicts a muscular, naked Kalevipoeg encountering a talking anus.

An interview with Eve Kask doesn't reveal much more: he likes women, he is interested in myth and nature, and if he could choose to live in another time, he would be a Cro-Magnon painting on a cave wall.

Thus, his frequent use of male nudity may not be a deliberate attempt to evoke the homoerotic, but an evocation of the pre-civilized wild man.

His work is sometimes criticized as sexist, depicting women only as objects of male conquest, as in A Walk Through the Park.

Of course, that doesn't explain his many nude men standing alone, raging against the modern world.

See also: Kristjan Raud; Kalervo Palsa.

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