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Sex and Horror: The Art of Alessandro Biffignandi

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Between the late 1960s and the late 1980s, Italy went crazy for “sexy fumetti," a home-grown genre of adult comics with a unique brand of twisted humor, violence, and up-front sexuality. Wilder and weirder than you can imagine, they were some of the most outrageous and shocking comics ever produced, and their eye-catching, highly provocative covers could be seen on every n Between the late 1960s and the late 1980s, Italy went crazy for “sexy fumetti," a home-grown genre of adult comics with a unique brand of twisted humor, violence, and up-front sexuality. Wilder and weirder than you can imagine, they were some of the most outrageous and shocking comics ever produced, and their eye-catching, highly provocative covers could be seen on every news stand and kiosk in the country. One of the most talented and prolific of the cover artists at Edifumetto—the foremost Italian producer of adult comics during this period—was Alessandro Biffignandi, whose work featured horror, fantasy, and sci-fi elements alongside plenty of naked female flesh. This book is a collection of some of the sexiest examples of Biffigandi’s cover art for Edifumetto, which is highly coveted by collectors today.


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Between the late 1960s and the late 1980s, Italy went crazy for “sexy fumetti," a home-grown genre of adult comics with a unique brand of twisted humor, violence, and up-front sexuality. Wilder and weirder than you can imagine, they were some of the most outrageous and shocking comics ever produced, and their eye-catching, highly provocative covers could be seen on every n Between the late 1960s and the late 1980s, Italy went crazy for “sexy fumetti," a home-grown genre of adult comics with a unique brand of twisted humor, violence, and up-front sexuality. Wilder and weirder than you can imagine, they were some of the most outrageous and shocking comics ever produced, and their eye-catching, highly provocative covers could be seen on every news stand and kiosk in the country. One of the most talented and prolific of the cover artists at Edifumetto—the foremost Italian producer of adult comics during this period—was Alessandro Biffignandi, whose work featured horror, fantasy, and sci-fi elements alongside plenty of naked female flesh. This book is a collection of some of the sexiest examples of Biffigandi’s cover art for Edifumetto, which is highly coveted by collectors today.

39 review for Sex and Horror: The Art of Alessandro Biffignandi

  1. 5 out of 5

    Barry

    NOTE: This review originally appeared on New York Journal of Books: http://www.nyjournalofbooks.com/book-... From the 1960s through the early ‘90s, Italy was host to an artistic subgenre known as “sexy fumetti,” a wild blend of eroticism, horror, violence, and some extremely messed-up humor. Something of a star among cover artists for Edifumetto, Italy’s lead publisher of adult comics was Alessandro Biffignandi. For this second installment in Korero Press’s Sex and Horror art book series (the prev NOTE: This review originally appeared on New York Journal of Books: http://www.nyjournalofbooks.com/book-... From the 1960s through the early ‘90s, Italy was host to an artistic subgenre known as “sexy fumetti,” a wild blend of eroticism, horror, violence, and some extremely messed-up humor. Something of a star among cover artists for Edifumetto, Italy’s lead publisher of adult comics was Alessandro Biffignandi. For this second installment in Korero Press’s Sex and Horror art book series (the previous volume being a showcase of fellow “sexy fumetti” artist Emanuele Taglietti), the works of Biffignandi are given a comprehensive showcase in all their full, over-the-top glory. From a very early age, Biffignandi developed a fascination with the way illustrations were put together, and he soon took to copying drawings from comics and albums as he developed his visual craft. He eventually attended an art college in Rome, and by the early 1960s had undertaken his career in professional illustration. Besides showcasing his artwork, this book contains a wealth of informative text and behind-the-scenes images. An appreciative introduction by Mark Alfrey leads into a comprehensive biography of the artist. Subsequent chapters split up his work into an overview of his professional commitments to various comics and magazines. There are also a number of photographs from Biffignandi’s studio, showing some of his models posing for their twisted visual interpretations, including a humorous one of Biffignandi himself standing in for a masked, pincer-wielding fiend in a torture chamber. Biffignandi’s oil paintings are lurid and frequently a bit disturbing, but then, their interpretations are all in the eye of the beholder. Overwhelmingly, the majority of them feature very objectified portrayals of women, nearly all of whom are naked or nearly so, and very frequently in quite suggestive or aggressively vulgar positions of eroticism. For example, the February, 1989 issue of comic series Superfumetti, the cover features a man dressed in red tights, cape, and horned cowl, grinning through clenched teeth as he flails a whip down upon a screaming woman’s upraised backside. For a series called La Peccatrice (1984–1986), Biffignandi portrayed the sexual adventures of an early 20th-century woman named Candida, frequently finding herself in violent and surreal experiences with a variety of strange partners, including a whip-wielding dwarf and an elderly man sporting a pair of antlers upon his cranium. And for the cover piece of the July 1989 issue of Collana Strega, titled La Cattedrale Dei Dannati (“Cathedral of the Damned”), he portrayed a writhing, screaming woman being raped by a goat-headed, winged demon in some kind of stone chamber, with an expression of frightful, yet undeniable, glee upon its grinning face. As disturbing as they get, Biffignandi’s disquieting pictures are also unquestionably erotic. There’s a palpable sultriness to all the body languages and facial expressions, and while the majority of these pictures will leave many a faint-of-heart viewer squirming, they may also come across as so bizarre and over-the-top to leave others giggling. But of course, with everybody’s tastes to their own, there will no doubt be some who draw certain “other” kinds of reactions from these vivid pictures. The controversial reactions that these pictures stir in viewers is probably the highest complement that can be paid to Biffignandi. There’s something to be said for visual art capturing a certain mood; indeed, in many ways, it’s an everlasting, ever-giving game. The controversial, mood-conflicting visions that Alessandro Biffignandi has captured through his art very much have the same impact now as they did in the height of the days of “sexy fumetti,” and with the release of this book, his eye-popping pictures will not be forgotten anytime soon.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Moon Captain

    hot af

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bill Wallace

    Another volume of utterly tasteless, garish cover paintings from Italian fumetti. These images are transgressive in practically every possible way and the cumulative effect of a book full of them is a little overwhelming. On the whole, I prefer the first collection, paintings by Emanuele Taglietti, over the work here, which occasionally suffers from odd proportioning or failed perspective, not that it's easy to notice such things among the riot of blood and skin. As noted in my GR comments the p Another volume of utterly tasteless, garish cover paintings from Italian fumetti. These images are transgressive in practically every possible way and the cumulative effect of a book full of them is a little overwhelming. On the whole, I prefer the first collection, paintings by Emanuele Taglietti, over the work here, which occasionally suffers from odd proportioning or failed perspective, not that it's easy to notice such things among the riot of blood and skin. As noted in my GR comments the previous book, the excesses of these comics probably reflect a sense of liberation from the not-so-distant Fascist past of the country that produced them, much like the explosion of similar material in the films of Jesus Franco in the years following the end of repressive rule. Absolutely not recommended to anyone offended by graphic sexual or violent content, but fascinating for horror enthusiasts who may not know just how far European artists pushed the membrane.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Rick Powell

    The artwork in here is phenomenal. Very taboo in todays standards, but there is no doubt that his technique has left his stamp in the later years of the last century.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jen

  6. 5 out of 5

    Carson Winter

  7. 5 out of 5

    Neil Sceeny

  8. 5 out of 5

    Terence

  9. 4 out of 5

    Chris Ripley

  10. 4 out of 5

    David

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cilibiu Dragos

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jon Cameron

  13. 5 out of 5

    Scott

  14. 4 out of 5

    Yak

  15. 5 out of 5

    Michael

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    Marc

  17. 5 out of 5

    JM Cozzoli

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lenny Nero

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    Brad

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    Daniel

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    Erik Rose

  22. 4 out of 5

    Donald Forster

  23. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Sipila

  24. 4 out of 5

    Low Price Books

  25. 5 out of 5

    Bill Bryant

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kamina

  27. 5 out of 5

    Destiny

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

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    Rachel

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    Starr Smith

  31. 5 out of 5

    Alfon

  32. 4 out of 5

    Mari Rice

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    Kenny Neal

  34. 4 out of 5

    Murnau’s stolen skull

  35. 4 out of 5

    Sam Bailey

  36. 5 out of 5

    Marcela Suhr Dake

  37. 4 out of 5

    ♠ Ñℑ¢Κ ♠

  38. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

  39. 4 out of 5

    Nick

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