Arrington de Dionyso was born in Chicago in 1975, and is a self taught artist and musician, as well as a founder of the “trance punk” shamanic-rock bands Old Time Relijun and Malaikat dan Singa. His anarchic drawings and paintings delve deep into erotic mysticism, alchemy, and psychedelic worship, and have been featured on countless album covers, concert posters and most recently on a series of textiles and embroideries in the 2015 Spring/Summer collection of Saint Laurent Paris. He lives in Olympia, Washington currently and his new series of paintings, “Priapic Maenads“, which are paintings of women wearing elaborate colored “koteka” or ritual penis sheaths, is absolutely amazing! The Koteka, or penis sheath, are worn by tribesmen of Papua New Guinea but also in other remote and far-flung areas of the world. Bamberg depicts men living in industrialized societies ritualizing symbols of masculinity as celebratory, playful, and primal. Arrington’s artwork has been featured prominently in the 2015 SS Men’s Collection by Hedi Slimane for Saint Laurent, and an article about that work appeared recently in the NY Times.
When asked about his work and the series Arrington had this to say:
“I love using my paintings to explore themes of tantra and “sacred sex” in surprising contexts, I immediately set to work on my own series of “Koteka Paintings” but with a new twist- most of the figures wearing the penis sheath in this series appear to be obviously female-bodied, and the koteka take the fanciful forms of birds, dragons, or giant serpents. I don’t see this as any kind of ground breaking statement on gender necessarily, but hope the images encourage a sense of playfulness, fluidity and even silliness around our notions of sexuality.”
-Arrington De Dionyso