Illustrations by Go Hirano (平野剛) Go Hirano is a mysterious figure...

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Illustrations by Go Hirano (平野剛)

Go Hirano is a mysterious figure in Japanese gay erotic art, as little is known about his personal life. His illustrations (sent anonymously to the editors of early gay magazines Fuzokukitan and Barazoku), however, left an indelible impression on his contemporaries and the artists that followed in his footsteps.

Hirano is one of the five major artists profiled in Gengoroh Tagame’s crucial history book, Gay Erotic Art in Japan, vol. 1. Here’s an excerpt from Tagame’s chapter on Hirano:

…his detailed drawings of physical bodies stand out. The massive flesh is brilliant and the realistic skin is remarkable. The deep black body hair is so detailed that the viewer may feel the artist has some fetish for it. The thick, sensual atmosphere these details make is of a very high quality, unknown in other artists of any generation.

Hirano’s pieces exclude anything other than men in sexual intercourse; it is almost like sex with a piece of paper, or as if drawing itself was like sex for him. This is perhaps the ultimate posture of gay erotic art, the way it should be.