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Collector and writer Richard Pérez Seves is obsessed with American vintage fetish art—and the work of underground pioneers like Charles Guyette, John Willie, Irving Klaw, Eric Stanton, Steve Ditko, Gene Bilbrew, and Bettie Page. He is also the author of the upcoming hardcover illustrated biography, Eric Stanton & the History of the Bizarre Underground.
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A tremendous value, given the low cost, of a figure who has otherwise been lost to history. Guyette was an enterpreneur of fetish imagery, fashion and footwear who aided the careers of more notable figures like John Willie and Irving Klaw. Seves does a service to us by rescuing this man from obscurity. The book is 7 1/2" x 9 1/2", paperback, 173 pages. At least 100 photographs, halftone black & white, no color. The quality of the reproductions is not high but the low cost and volume of photos gathered in this small volume makes up for it. Most of the photos feature women wearing various kinds of fetish style high heeled footwear. There is also a small selection photos depicting women boxing, which was unheard of at the time. A small percentage of photos feature bondage. A smaller percentage feature nudity, including a couple males in submissive postures. Also, corsets, masks, stockings, garter belts, riding crops, and pony play are depicted. Some of Guyette's advertisements for his business illustrated. Absolutely worth the cost.
CHARLES GUYETTE (2017) by Richard Perez Seves is pure entertainment. Yes, it’s well-researched, insightful and brilliantly written but mostly it’s just fun.
If you’re not familiar with the name (and I wasn’t!) Charles Guyette was a pioneer in kinky photography back in the 1930s, marketing photographs of shapely ladies in corsets, boots and especially high heels, with a bit of bondage and fighting on the side. He served time in Federal Prison for sending pictures through the mail that would today be considered too tame for PLAYBOY, then re-emerged as a couturier to strippers, specializing in G-strings….
The author wisely leaves all this for later in the book and puts the images up front. And what images! A feast of lovingly photographed young ladies in fetish wear, carefully reproduced from original sources and presented for maximium effect. By the time Seves started recounting the fascinating story of this remarkable man, I was hooked—and you will be too!
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