Part 1: Enfant Outrť
by Joe Flazh!
- metroG Art Editor
April 17, 2006
Note: This article contains strong language and the
photo gallery contains some adult images. If you are
easily offended I suggest you refrain from reading any
metroG's Joe Flazh! with Michael Kirwan
"I donít judge people.
Itís not my job. But illustrating porn is my job, and I
take pride in the fact that none of my randy little
creations is debased, defamed or derided for being
different. Theyíre horny, happy and human. I see each
scene through each of the characterís eyes, and
everybody always sees what they like."
~ Michael Kirwan
That statement of Mr.
Kirwanís, from his press materials for his
October-November exhibit, "Girls Who Do: The
Illustrations of Michael Kirwan" at The Erotic Museum in
Hollywood, impressed me and sparked my curiosity to go
back for a meticulous look at his work.
On first viewing
Michaelís illustrations seem exaggerated cartoons of
people in every conceivable type of sexual situation.
They wantonly cavort in worlds without racism, sexism,
ageism, economic prejudices, body image issues like,
whoís got the biggest penis or breasts (in Michaelís
world as everyone is exceptionally endowed.), where
attractive people happily engage in raucous sex with
downright ugly people, where fat people get to be
intimate with perfect specimens, where physically
challenged people are lusty with each other and regular
people. Or Michael may depict situations that seem dark
and threatening but turn out to be dark and exciting:
where even a hardcore bible thumping Redneck or a
dedicated gay basher, of any color, can indulge
themselves in some repressed sexual fun and still walk
away convinced they didnít compromise themselves because
they let another man "blow" them.
Thatís what Michael means
when he says he doesnít judge people and that his randy
little creations are never debased, demeaned or derided
for being different. In Michaelís world there are no
barriers or restrictions as to who can have sex and with
Knowing this, I was
really looking forward to meeting Michael at this
exhibit, co-sponsored by the Tom Of Finland Foundation,
November 17th in the beautiful upstairs gallery of The
Michael is a force:
outrageous, outspoken with a persona as big and brash
and colorful as his work, like a giant windmill coming
at you at 300 mph with its rotor whirring out of
control, he approaches, encased in a leather kilt, with
a long, strawberry blond mane blowing wildly in the
His energy is not
undirected. Michael is an enormously funny and
entertaining guy with a sarcastic wit that keeps a
person engaged and laughing at the same time. Michaelís
like a hybrid of Paul Lynde, Rip Taylor and Lief
Erickson the mad Viking of yore.
Due to the graphic nature
of Michaelís work we can only show you the tamer samples
of what has made him a true star in the world of erotic
art; so, please, have yourselves a unique experience and
considering that youíre gay, and I see your gay artwork
and it hits the correct homoerotic tone, how is it that
you can accomplish the same result when you do
MK: Well, getting
paid for it is a strong incentive. Seriously, itís about
menís desires, and I know what men feel and what they
want and how they respond to certain types of visual
stimulations; plus thereís always a fantasy element for
both men and women.
I spent many years as a
somewhat straight guy; I was married for seven years. I
have a son whoís in his thirties; so for a while, I was
trying to do that "bi" thing. However, at 41, guys, 41
girls I went to 42 guys and 41 girls then 53 guys and 41
girls; and it dawned on me, that, "Hey, I might be a
JF! Do you see a
difference in the dynamics of gay and hetero
MK: Well, I do
think that thereís more of a friendship, brotherhood,
unspoken understanding among gay men; whereas with men
and women I think thereís a bit more of a barter system
that exists. Not that thereís anything wrong with that;
however, I think women are not as sexually obsessed as
men. Someone once said to me, back in the days when I
was "Bi-ing" around, "Donít you feel terrible if the
girl doesnít orgasm?" Who the hell cares?! Thatís her
problem; Iím not here for her; Iím here for me! Which is
weird because in my "gay" sexual experiences, Iím
definitely there for my partner.
JF! Is it
important that "you" orgasm with your male partner?
MK: No, no, no! In
fact, I prefer not to.
JF! Is it more for
just the experience then?
MK: Yes, I like to
savor and save it up and then think about it later on.
JF! Like a bank
MK: Yeah. My idea
of a sexual encounter is where someone walks in the
door, pulls down their pants, I suck their dick, they
come, they pull their pants up and they say, "See you
next week." To me, thatís perfect! All the other
unnecessary stuff Ö.thatís why I prefer having sex with
straight guys-- because theyíre just happy to get a good
blow job. With gay guys, a blow job turns into a fuck,
turns into tying up, turns into whipping, turns into
fisting, you know; itís an eight hour ordeal! Iíve got
television to watch; Iíve got cigarettes to smoke; Iíve
got other things to do!
JF! In your
opinion, is there more to your images than just sex?
MK: Yes. One of
the things I really try to do with my artwork is give
context to the characters. Itís not like theyíre just
waiting around all day to have sex. These are stolen
moments, golden opportunities; so they appreciate them
Iíve seen artists that,
you knowÖ..you see this naked guy lying there and heís
beautiful and heís sexy and heís hot but, WHAT THE HELL
ELSE DOES HE DO?!! Why is he in bed at 4 oíclock in the
afternoon? Why is he lying around with his legs spread;
doesnít he have anything else to do?
JF! Whatís your
MK: My assumption
is that heís a crashing bore or a prostitute. I want my
characters to look like, ĎThis is our moment and weíve
got to grab it, take it, and celebrate it, whether itís
the gays or the straights. Itís also about choices: just
like I can say, "I can either go this way and be a
chicken shit, or I can roll the dice and jump right in."
I like that right before
the act thereís still the possibility of pulling back.
The actual sex act is not that interesting to me, the
before-and-after definitely has the tension, the
emotional investment, the insecurities rising to the
top; and I want to get all of that because sex isnít
just wonderful; itís also annoying, taxing, messy and,
sometimes, irresponsible. Nonetheless, itís still
JF! Is that what
youíre approaching in your work?
MK: Thatís exactly
it! Also, I went out of my way to give the women in my
drawings an agenda. (At this moment a camera crew got
noisy and Michael, with hands a flaying and full of
attitude yells, "Hey, weíre taping here, you ass
wipes!)ÖI didnít want the women to be vacant vessels for
the men to pour their lust into.
JF! Your women do
look very strong both in character and physical
MK: I determined,
early on, that Iím never going to make anybody a victim.
Coming up in Part II of
"Enfant Outrť" is the work that Michael
considers his most controversial, and I have to agree,
in the Flazh!Foto Gallery.