***DISCLAIMER: THESE WORKS CONTAIN NUDITY AND SEX ACTS.***
– November 2016 –
Art Historian & Queer Theorist Robert Summers in conversation with Pony & Lucifer.
Given this is a queer visual arts project, can I ask how do you identify?
Pony: My sexuality has always been rather fluid and I have in fact had lovers of different sexes and bodies. That said, I have always felt most comfortable identifying as a Faggot.
For me, being a faggot is deeply linked to both my cultural and sexual identity.
The faggot and his friends have built very unique global communities, which have their own customs, and a way of being in the world, that transcends most of the restrictive boundaries of Heteronormative society.
It is within the Faggot communities that I feel most comfortable and these are the people in which I aim to serve.
Luckily, for me I have found a partner that shares my same views and values.
Both me and Lucifer identify as Radical Faggots.
Balaclava.Q was started as an aesthetic response to global hate crimes—and especially the Orlando tragedy—so, have you ever experienced homophobia or a hate crime?
The murders that occurred at ‘Pulse’ nightclub in Orlando, FL on the 12th of June, 2016 was absolutely devastating and destabilizing for so many in the United States. However the real victims, were the victims themselves and their families. They are the ones who clearly suffered the most in this tragedy.
Orlando as sad as it was, is still just a statistic on an ever growing list of Hate Crimes that are being directed to GLBTQ people and their communities around the world.
In order to have an appropriate response to these HATE crimes, it’s seriously important that we are discussing the cause of this violence. It’s clear that we can trace these crimes back to extremist ideologies that are supported by the monotheistic religions of the world. We must find culturally appropriate ways to fight back.
As a young man living in a small town outside of Anchorage, Alaska I experienced my fair share of homophobia and violence. I can remember running through a trailer park late at night while older guys with baseball bats ran after me. With the aid of an ally I was able to escape the rage of that mob. My family feared for my safety though and continually told me to keep my sexuality on the down low. However, once out of the closet there seemed to be no going back. I did the best I could to survive given the resources I had.
Then in 1998 Matthew Shepard was murdered. The cruelty of Shepherd’s death and how it was presented in the media broke so many of our young queer hearts and for a period of time it scared me back into the lonely closet. All I wanted to do after Shepard’s murder was survive and move far away from the violence of Homophobia. However, I vowed to myself to always remember Matthew Shepard’s life and death.
We have so little time to make a difference here and if my life is to serve any great purpose I want it to be the advancement of my people. We have a blue-print for our revolution and our time to fight back is NOW.
Does covering the face give you a sense of power? If not for some sort of power, then why do you cover the face?
Pony: Hmm, this is a difficult question to answer because I think each time my reasoning is slightly different.
Sometimes a mask is worn simply to protect someone’s identity and at other times a mask can be worn as a personification of inner divinity.
I have always though been drawn to masks, much like a person who likes to wear customs. I like finding playful ways to explore serious subjects. It’s a joy from my childhood that has never left me.
Wearing masks for ritual however is much more specific and for that reason I am going to let Lucifer take it from here.
Lucifer: In the sense of Voodoo, magical vital power, my answer is absolutely Yes. The masks are worn for protection and as a way of deifying oneself for the purpose of a specific ritual or performance. It’s a form of magick that is used to deconstruct the Ego. By covering the face, you are covering the part that is most associated with one’s personality.
If used for the right purpose, wearing a mask can release the deepest of energy that resides in every human. From the “primitive” shaman to the wrestler fighter, masks are used in every culture around the world. We have to believe there’s a reason for this.
Does an alter ego play a role in your artwork?
Pony: Both me and Lucifer agree that our work has been a continuous journey of ‘self’ discovery.
For me the name ‘Pony’ in the beginning was a projection of my desires and who I hoped to become in this world.
Ponies are very helpful creatures and help others get to where they want to go. Slowly as the years have gone by I find myself more and more connected to my Pony identity versus my older ‘self’. I’m not sure if this is my Ego or Alter Ego but in either case I do believe you must first believe in your own greatness before you can become truly self-actualised.
Lucifer: Like the mask, that can cover our face thus covering our ego, the name of an Artist can also work at this level. Just like a superhero identity, the altar ego permits the artist to express his true hopes and desires.
Lucifer for me, is the deep urge I feel in my soul to embrace myself and the light of this world. Lucifer is the light of the God I AM.
Your work on Balaclava.Q is a varied aesthetic of masks, would you like to tell the viewers about the ideas for the different masks? They seem to draw on non-western art – do they? Also, do you have an influence from any art, artist, or culture that informs your work?
Lucifer: Growing up in Veneto, near Venice, masks have always had a presence in my life. I remember being in awe each February seeing masks of every kind and style for the festival of Carnival. Also the African ritual masks that lived in my Uncle’s house. As I have said before I can remember hearing them calling to me, a deep chanting from the jungle. This is one of my earliest memories.
Around 7 years old, I developed a great passion for anthropology. Studying art as transmutation of perceptions and materials, magic, occultism and compared theology. I grew up in a home full of books of all themes written through out the ages. In this way I am very lucky that I grew up in a family that loved and still loves to discuss heavier subjects like anatomy, alchemy, economy and even things like death rituals. For me these are typical dinner conversations that I still like to have with my parents.
Inspiration comes to me from many different rivers but they all flow into my life-sea, and mix into my art expression. If i can quote just a few artists that I really love and that have a special place in my interior museum they would be as follows:
Picasso (the erotique drawn over all) Egon Schiele, Hieronymus Bosch, Stanley Kubrick, Andrea Palladio, Jackson Pollock, Caravaggio, J.M. Basquiat, Prassitele and Pasolini.
Pony: I am always drawn to the Man behind the mask, more than the mask itself. However something I have learned over the years of photographing Men in mask is that often times we see different sides of a Man once he has but a mask on.
Mask worn as sacred objects may indeed be powerful on their own, but that power is almost never animated until it is harnessed by the man himself.
What country are you from? Or, where do you live?
Pony: Both me and Lucifer live in Northern Italy, not too far from Venice. I am an American but planning on applying for dual-citizenship to the E.U. once the time permits me to do so after me and Lucifer are married.
Lucifer: I’m from Italy, and I’m back living in my home-town Vicenza, with Pony.
Even if my heritage and magic is deeply connected with the Italian soil, the influences in my work come from all over the world. I have always considered myself first, a citizen of this planet, secondly European and at last a Faggot living here in Italy.
Please feel free to follow-us online.
Twitter: @HELLBOUNDMEN @TwistedFag (Pony Hunter 666) and @HailCock (Lucifer Hunter)
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (Pictured above)
FLAMING BEASTS OF DESIRE
“These images are documents from our most current film project here in Northern Italy. Online I have referred to the film as “Baphomet and the Butterfly”, which is amore for the tattoo Lucifer got after we disclosed our love to one another. I’m not sure however if this will be the final title or not for our film when the day comes for us to reveal the work.
One of the first things that attracted me to Lucifer was his love of masks and his ability to make them. We discussed our feelings about the overlap between a persons creative and sexual desires and how we both believe they originate from the same place. We were both interested in making something new together and it only seemed natural given my background working as a pornographer that we would use pornography as the medium to reveal the deeper natures about ourselves, our desires and our art.
I think we both knew that we were going to make something big with each other the first time we talked but we were divided by an ocean. The more I learned about Lucifer, the more I desired him. Allora, (and so) when my contract ended with Treasure Island Media it was clear to me that it was now time to make the things I really wanted to make. I gave away almost all of my belongings and packed my bags. I seemed to intuitively know that my new life awaited me here in Europe.
One of His Shadows (Pictured above)
The day I arrived in Italy we started making our first film together. Lucifer had an idea for a seven scene Opera which he was loosely basing on John Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’. I must admit that the grand scale of his vision slightly intimidated me, when he first told me. I have made several full-length movies at this point but nothing quite to the scale of our current film. However, all of the fear that I must have had before arriving was eliminated as soon as I felt the physical embrace of my lover and my heart was filled with joy.
Each mask you see was handcrafted by Lucifer himself. The materials used to construct them are incredibly simple, basically consisting of paper and plastic, but you would never know it from a distance.
I asked him to write something about why he makes masks and this is what he said:
“I can trace my fascination with masks back to my childhood, where I vividly remember a sense of wonder and mystery that was radiating from an African Jaguar mask in my Uncle’s house. I remember it calling to me, the chant of the Jaguar.
Growing-up I was always very fond of digging in the trash. It was the one place that I would find my most favourite materials to work with. I have always enjoyed re/generating found material and turning them into new artefacts. As a Magician, Painter, Sculptor and lover of the Origami art form, I started to develop my own unique style for mask making.
I see each of my masks as unique living pieces. They are more than just paper sculptures. They literally come to life each time they are worn by someone.
The Ancient Greeks used masks in both theatre and ritual. It was in-fact the ‘Mystery of Dionisio’ that gave birth to what we think of now as modern theatre.
Masks are deeply symbolic and sacred to me and they are wonderful tools for ritual magic.
They allow us to shape shift and transform, while protecting our face and identity. Often revealing our true animal nature: Divine beasts of flaming desires.”
As for me and my personal love of mask’s…I too can trace it back to my childhood. Halloween has always been my favourite holiday. I remember as a small child saving my plastic masks each year and using them to create plays with my younger sister.
Film still from Baphomet and the Butterfly scheduled to be released in 2017.
I started photographing my friends when I was 12-years old. This is when I had saved enough money to buy my first Polaroid camera. Some of the very first images I ever made were nude portraits of my childhood friends. You must remember it was a different time back then before the internet. I knew I was gay at a very young age, like many young faggots I knew I was different from the others. Pornography was the one place where I could let my imagination take over and create a world where my desires would become the norm.
I think I was 14 the first time I saw ‘Pulp Fiction’ with my friends and I will never forget the gasp that was made when the words were muttered “Bring out the Gimp!!” While I’m sure I was shocked like the rest of my friends…I was also extremely turned on by this violent scene. I don’t know which I desired more. To be covered head to toe in leather or to be held captive and used like a sexual animal. The desire to be owned or to own. All of these thoughts made my young dick hard and laid the foundation for my work that would come years later.
A few weeks ago me and Lucifer made the big announcement that we were going to be getting married. Lucifer and I are deeply in love and I can honestly say that our bond transcends the physical. He is my teacher and my creative brother and the love of my life.
For many years I felt like something was missing inside of me. There was a part of me that felt incomplete. Despite all of the Men I have been so lucky to meet, know and physically love in my life…it is in Lucifer, the Man and the Beast that I love, that I find my missing piece.
Earth Dragon (Pictured above)
We plan to show our little Opera next year in Berlin during the GLBTQ adult film festival. I have no idea how our film will be received but my hope is that it will be embraced and it will mark the beginning of a new genera in porn, art and film. Much like Andy Warhol’s film “BLUE” marked the beginning of the “Golden Age of Pornography” with it’s release in the summer of 1969.
Like all works of art our film has truly been a labor of love and I want to point out here that we are making our film with no money. We don’t have an executive producer at this point and so any money we do receive for the film will all be going into post-production work.
Everyone that has been involved with the making of our film has volunteered their time, talent and selves to the project. It’s been an awesome collaboration that at this point has gone way beyond just me and Lucifer. We are not only working with Men here in Italy but are also collaborating with other artist from the United States.
We are excited to announce that the film will have an original soundtrack and we feel extremely lucky to be working with the “Promise Kings”, a male Queer Indie Band from San Francisco. Their song “Your Fire” will be premiering next year with the release of our first film.You can hear the track here though now on Sound Cloud: https://soundcloud.com/promise-kings/your-fire
In addition to making our first film together me and Lucifer have also decided too start our own adult male fetish film company here in Europe. We will be launching our new site at the beginning of next year: www.hellboundmen.com.
Like many young emerging artist we have a desperate need for money but we are confident that the money will come down the road. If you are interested in becoming a Patron of our work and pornography please consider signing-up now here:
Each monthly contributor will receive our videos first and the love of both me and Lucifer until the we have successfully launched our official site.
BLESSED BEE – XXX – HELLBOUND MEN
PONY and LUCIFER HUNTER”
Peer Review of: Baphomet and the Butterfly
“So, out of the blue I was asked to be in a porn movie. Lovely director Pony Hunter and his partner Lucifer had a satanic, esoteric theme in mind for it. Given my lifelong fascination with all things occult, I was immediately drawn to it. After the initial WTF moment I thought ok, this bitch likes to experiment, let’s do it. We shot at an insane location, an abandoned villa in the middle of the woods where nobody had probably set foot in years. We reached the place in the middle of the night, under rain and lightning, to shoot a group sex scene.
The sex was dirty, steamy, raw. Everyone was definitely feeling it, and the whole place vibrated with a dark, animal energy that was definitely in keeping with the theme of the movie. I found there is something cathartic about being filmed while having sex, about being literally stripped naked and devoured by the eye of the camera. It’s like a veil is torn away from all you’ve been taught about decency and modesty, a slap in the face to decorum, the triumph of sex in its most material form. It’s the feeling of reverting back to a lump of writhing flesh to the point that bodies become symbols, pure abstractions: a form of inverse spirituality where self-discovery is achieved through an inward process that tends to immanence rather than transcendence.
Or maybe I’m just reading too much into it.
The movie will be called Baphomet and the Butterfly.”
This artist has also kindly submitted examples of his earlier artworks which, similar to masks, look at covering the face, making statements and creating new or true identities. Please see below.
To explore more of Hunter’s works please see social media links and references below:
Facebook: Pony Bronn aka Pony Hunter (artist name Pony Hunter)
Instagram: Pony Hunter 666
These works were kindly supplied by the artist.
Please ask that artist before using them elsewhere.