The blog of author Dennis Cooper


Abel Azcona Make America Great Again, 2017
‘Queer performance artist Abel Azcona has taken his critique of Donald Trump to the next level: by tattooing the words of the president’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” in a circle around his anus. The tattooing of the phrase occurred in the Defibrillator Gallery in Chicago amongst a crowd of eager onlookers earlier this week. Azcona has engaged in more than 500 performance projects and over 100 individual exhibitions around the world.’


Mariko Matsushita Anus, 2018
Oil On Canvas


Joep van Lieshout CasAnus, 1997
‘This polyester sculpture, a gigantic replica of the human digestive system was designed by the Dutch artist Joep Van Lieshout as an exclusive apartment. The raw natural shapes and colours stand in sharp contrast to the pristine white interior of the construction. The room contains a double bed, a table, a shower and a toilet. CasAnus is also equipped with lightening, running water and electric heating. One night in Joep Van Lieshout’s installation costs €120 for two people. Breakfast and access to the museum are included in the price.’


Erik Parker Anal Action, 1999
pen, ink, charcoal, graphite and rubberstamp on paper


Magnus Irvin and Michael Ritzema Solid Bronze Limited edition anus, 2015
‘Artists, Magnus Irvin and Michael Ritzema, run a company called Edible Anus. For fifteen years they’ve been producing chocolates made from a mould created by an actual human anus! And now they’ve taken things a step further, offering personal anus castings to anyone who’d like to see their poop chute turned into an ornament made of a more permanent material, like glass or bronze.’


George Segal Hand on Right Buttock, 1979
painted paper-mâché and plaster


Csaba Kis Róka Various, 2010 – 2015
‘Csaba Kis Róka (b.1981, Hungary) explores the innermost corners of the collective subconscious, delving into the realm of the unexpressed, and blatantly opposing political correctness. Playing with a rich pictorial texture that densely coagulates on his canvases, the artist stages traditional genre scenes imbued with irony, cruelty, abuse and random violence.’


Jamian Juliano-Villani Untitled, 2019
‘You can’t call the RSPCA for crimes against toys, apparently, but one look at Jamian Juliano-Villani’s art and you’ll desperately want to. I mean, if hammering a tiny toy tiger in the mouth with a dildo machine forever isn’t abuse, then what is? “They didn’t want me to bring this one, but I insisted,” the artist says.’


Georges Bataille & André Masson L’ANUS SOLAIRE, 1931
‘Paris, Edition of the Galerie Simon (Galerie Kahnweiler), 1931. In-8 br. (252 x 200), under cream cover printed on the front. 3 dry points inset. Total edition of 112 copies, this one n ° 3, 1 of 10 on old Japon des Manufactures Impériales. Signed by the author in purple pencil on the finished print.’


Brody Ondrej & Kristofer Paetau Licking Curator’s Ass, 2005
‘Dear Ondrej and Kristofer, What can I say. Our meeting at the Extra Features Series – project was remarkable and unexpected. I actually think that in order to initiate a thru and intens collaboration with any curator you meet in the future, you are obligated to plan and perform such a (perhaps)scandalous and physical action/provocation to create an inspiring working atmosphere and mutual understandings which will – obviously – benefit the working conditions between you and the curator in question.’


Ambera Wellmann Various, 2018 – 2019
Oil on linen

In medias res




Wang Haiyan Party in the Anus, 2018
‘A farcically funny gender-fluid costumed wo/man is party-dancing in the looped video Party in the Anus (2018). The hedonism of the wig-donning wo/man in a faecal coloured brown costume also takes on a maximalist note in Party in the Anus. It indulges in a kind of absurd cheer that one might find difficult to participate in or understand.’


Darren Bader anus and/with greyness, 2013
‘With Bader, the sewing machine and the umbrella meet again on a dissecting table, now joined by some guacamole, a French horn, pizza and a dishwasher.’


Craig Drennen Various, 2014
‘Each of the Mistress paintings included the oil painting of the anus hung in conjunction with the black line painted directly on the wall. The anus image seems likes it reveals something from the person who gives me their image, but maybe it doesn’t. The minimalist line seems like it offers up nothing, but maybe it does. That combination seemed like the only possible starting point at the time. Those pieces have an almost Neo-Geo level of control to them that’s loosened up a bit in the subsequent characters.’

First Characters Little Mistress

First Mistress

First Characters Mistress


General Idea Dick All, 1993
‘Cast glass crystal multiple. Each is handmade so measurements vary. Based on Marcel Duchamp’s edition Wedge of Chastity (1954), but in this case a butt plug. General Idea both embraced and critiqued the corporate model at a time when such actions were virtually prohibited in the realm of high art. Stimulated by the international Fluxus movement of the late 1960s, their artwork was involved with everyday promotional culture (business cards, press releases, magazines) and evolved into high gloss advertising forms (posters, balloons, and pins). Works by General Idea were most often produced as multiples, which they saw as an integral part of their media-conscious “viral” activity.’


Neke Carson Rectal Realist Portrait of Andy Warhol, 1972
‘“Page Six” readers may have scratched their heads when they read Monday’s short item announcing that artist Neke Carson’s “Portrait of Andy Warhol” was being shown at the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh starting this Friday. Sure, it’s great that this painting is appearing for the first time in 28 years. But what’s the big deal? Carson painted it with a paintbrush sticking out of his butt. That’s the big deal. Carson, now 61, is the longtime co-curator of an eclectic, cult-following Tuesday-night performance series at the Gershwin Hotel.’


Robert Mapplethorpe Double Fist Fuck, 1978
Gelatin silver print


Cecily Brown Performance, 1999
‘Cecily Brown has described painting as “a kind of alchemy,” adding that she wants “to catch something in the act of becoming something else.” Steeped in art history, with avowed debts to Abstract Expressionism and the old masters, Brown’s output flaunts vigorous brushwork that both integrates and transforms images drawn from pornography, cartoons, Victorian storybooks, and the like.’


Douglas Blanchard Jesus Before the Soldiers, 2014
‘Marine look-alikes torment a naked prisoner in “Jesus Before the Soldiers” from “The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision,” a series of 24 paintings by Douglas Blanchard. Jesus kneels, naked and vulnerable, as a knife-wielding soldier grabs him by the hair. War dogs bark at him like hounds of hell, baring their teeth. A leering soldier flips the finger at him while another brandishes an assault rifle. Behind them a skull stares out from a gaping black hole. A dark halo seems to arch over him. The soft, round curves of Jesus’ exposed buttocks make the blade of the knife look even sharper. Dust clings to the soles of Jesus’ bare feet.’


Trương Minh Quý The Sublime of Rectum, 2017
‘Trương Minh Quý’s ”The Sublime of Rectum” is a visual exploration of intimate physical contact between two men. Based on the stories and sexual experiences of a young Balinese with an European tourist, Truong Minh Quy abstracts their turbulent sexual intimacy into images of a moving hand, slowly entering the rectum of an exterior body.’


Aernoud Bourdrez Ryan Dunn’s Butt X-Ray, 2007
‘Late in 2007, one of the most absurd trades ever executed went down between a Dutch lawyer and an American, Ryan Dunn. The Dutch lawyer, Aernoud Bourdrez, wanted an x-ray that Dunn had received after stuffing a toy car up his ass for a now-infamous scene in Jackass: The Movie. Bourdrez in return would send Dunn a 1989 Mercedes 420 SEC. Unfortunately the car didn’t pass U.S. Customs, so Dunn agreed to take Bourdrez’s DAF 46, which runs as fast in reverse as it does in drive. Bourdrez, a lawyer in the art world, as well as a gallerist and collector, began exhibiting the x-ray as art. Nine years later, he’s selling it.’


Lari Pittman Spiritual and Needy, 1991
‘The complete oeuvre of Lari Pittman, with over four decades of work, includes a playful combination of imagery ranging from typography to pornography, decoration to abstraction, confection to perversion, and light to dark. I was interested in the dark side of Pittman. His work seems so celebratory, happy and pleasing-to-the-eye. Yet in the mix of mirth, there are guns and nooses, blood and feces, tombstones and coffins.’


Chriddof Ass Cat, 2015
‘This is a cat frantically trying to escape from a bald man’s anus. The man seems downright elated about this situation. The smile on his face could be seen as the ecstasy accompanying the gratification of an unspeakably perverse sexual fantasy. Or perhaps the self-aware smirk of a frat boy preemptively reveling in the meme-fame he is anticipating as the result of this stunt performed for the virtual panopticon. Though the intentions of the image’s author remain tantalizingly opaque in regards to the human figure, it is clear the feline co-star’s expression can only be read as one of terrified desperation. As such, if this tableau were to be interpreted as a sexual fantasy, the fetish depicted would be thoroughly sadistic and thoroughly masochistic with equal depravity. And as whatever CGI-animal-rights group would already be incensed at this display of virtual anal cruelty, we as viewers are left only with the hope that the cat had been digitally de-clawed.’


Andrej Dubravsky Various, 2019 – 2020
‘Andrej Dúbravský uses the unforgiving and irreversible alla prima technique on raw canvas to produce his works. Not only the medium he uses but also the objects and subjects of some of his paintings convey atmosphere clouded in smoke, mist, mystery and vague arousal.’


Richard Munaba Let Me Know When You Come, 2014
‘A model lay naked on the floor, his legs suspended in an apparatus evocative of polio braces. The prosthesis, entitled Let Me Know When You Come, presents the wearer’s anus in a manner that I couldn’t help but think would facilitate the most uncomfortable anal sex (for both parties involved) since lube was invented. While trying not to stare into a stranger’s butthole, I imagined all the countless awkward first homoerotic encounters that have occurred in the hallowed halls.’


Tom of Finland Untitled, 1963
graphite on paper


Pierre Yves Clouin Kangaroo, 1998
‘Clouin’s films are autoportraits of his body shot in close range and at strange angles, creating uncanny images to the sound of his physical exertions. In ‘Kangaroo’ (1998), fingers and then a hand emerge through what looks like buttock cheeks but could be knees.’


Jon Lockett Self-Portrait as a Poop (after Christo), 1994


Santiago Sierra Los Penetrados (The Penetrated), 2008
‘The film features a mirrored set with ten geometrically arranged blankets positioned on the floor, on which the various possible combinations of male and female and black and white, engage in anal penetration. The faces of the hired participants are digitally removed, rendering them as dehumanized, modular workers in Sierra’s imposed economy.’




p.s. Hey. ** michael karo, Well, hello there, Michael! It’s been … years? Great to see you here. I, of course, remember that dinner fondly as well. We’ve never stopped wearing masks indoors in public places here, and it’s just second nature and no sweat, but, yeah, people in the US … yikes. Much love to you too! ** David, Hi. I like going to the beach when it’s very cloudy or at night. I am actually walking over to see the wrapped Arc today. But you’re right that I don’t want to hear an ‘actor’ read my novel. So I’m not that bad all in all. I adored Echo & the Bunnymen back in the day, but only before ‘The Killing Moon’. For some reason whenever I hear any song off that first Tears for Fears album, a crystal clear mental and emotional image of my life in the early 80s takes over. Maybe someone secretly hypnotised me back then and implanted TfF as a trigger or something. Hope you ran and ran and ran. Hope you find an easy chair this weekend. ** Dominik, Hi!!! Yeah, I mostly watched the VMAs so I would know what all those stars’ familiar names referred to. Oh, yesterday’s love was inspired by the VMAs, of course. It was the first time I’d seen, and possibly even heard, Machine Gun Kelly, and I thought he was an insufferable fraud, so the concept of him suffering became briefly appealing, but I’m over it, and now I’m more, like, ‘Dude, whatever, do your thing, who cares.’ Love, who’d been thinking that your yesterday love’s hat was, yes, silly, but also quite charming, seeing in your love’s eyes the moment when he realises that he wore the hat on my love’s behalf, and my love’s eyes becoming moist, G. ** Bill, Hi. Ronald Chase … do I know his stuff? I don’t think so? Curious. I’ll, of course, investigate. Interesting weekend planned? ** Steve Erickson, Until someone here mentioned Laura Beth Noble the other day, I hadn’t heard a peep about her in years. I have no idea. Gosh, I hope she’s doing great. I saw Math briefly a few years ago in SF after a reading Eileen Myles and I gave there. She has transitioned, and I don’t what their preferred pronouns are. It was a short encounter but they looked and seemed like a completely different person. But if I’d spent more time with them, maybe I wouldn’t have thought that. I’ll read your new pieces. Everyone, Steve has two reviews for you this weekend. (1) his review of the new album by the wonderful Moor Mother, and (2) his review of the new documentary ‘The Most Beautiful Boy in the World’ about Bjorn Andersen’s post-Tadzio life. Huh, interesting. I haven’t watched that von Praunheim in ages. You make me want to. Excellent. ** Misanthrope, Hi. Oh, yeah, that was a fun night. I remember that. So, no word at all on LBN’s current goings on? Oops, you may’ve just busted yourself if Tosh is reading. Yeah, don’t be a robot. Except maybe for Halloween. I’ll jinx myself by hoping that I have a nice weekend too, which maybe cancels out your self-jinx? ** Andrew, Hi, Andrew! Days are very fluid here. Cool that you’ve been peeking in here. Taciturn is a nice word. It deserves a comeback. Unless it has come back, and I just don’t know that because I’m over here in the French speaking boonies. Oh, yeah, I saw the announcement of that event on FB. Great! Obviously wish I could teleport there. Speaking of, Paul K will be in Paris between now and then for several days, so I’ll get to meet the mysterious and great fella. Stuff’s good here, working madly on some cool projects and trying to get through my novel’s release stuff. And you? Tons of occupations, I’m imagining? Have a lovely weekend, sir. ** Jeff J, Good. That you liked it. No, my local store hasn’t had the new Joy Williams in stock yet, but I’m walking down there to check again today since I’m almost literally dying to read it, obviously. I read Justin’s piece on the novel. I haven’t read the NYT piece, but an awful review of Joy Williams is not something I think I can abide, so I’ll skip it. Next week + Zoom = groovy. I’ll with you confer elsewhere and set the date. ** Right. This weekend’s post is as self-explanatory as posts get. See you on Monday.


  1. David

    Sweet Dennis… “Welcome to your life
    There’s no turning back
    Even while we sleep
    We will find you
    Acting on your best behaviour….”
    Ref this post… I once screwed this guy down a dark alley… I was mid twenties… enjoyed myself considerably… it was dark… on completion i used my hands as a guide out and then onto him. .. realising he had shat himself and all over my palms, as he entered my mouth… he was very embarrassed and pulled his trousers up… I on the other extremely drunk didn’t care… he went off… and I headed to my place of work… on arriving I told my pal/work colleague at the bar… I’ve just fucked stephan at the back of substation.. and I showed him my hands… and relayed the story… no sooner as i had… this older Scottish guy… perked up… “that’s nothing… I was fucked by a guy on the roof a few days ago in the pouring rain…. ” I remember thinking I’ve just had shit in my mouth… how exactly does being fucked in the rain beat my story? As you know Dennis… No matter what you’ve done someone will always try and fucking upstage you! Xx

  2. Misanthrope

    Dennis, I have a feeling that I’ll never need to get fisted or double-fisted in my life. 😀

    Hahaha, yeah, but luckily, it wasn’t Wallace Berman’s or Kier’s installation. It was another artist’s. Beyond that tomfoolery, though, we had a great day hanging out.

    Geez, and now I’m remembering the lot of us after your Ugly Man launch going out to the restaurant and poor Nicholas Rhoades seven sheets to the wind and my having to prop him up the whole way, particularly after he fell into those trash cans. Hahaha.

    Just thought of another funny story too. I’ll relate that on Monday.

    But yeah, unfortunately, you didn’t un-jinx me. :'( David wrecked his fucking car yesterday and now we have to spend the day trying to find a rim and tire for it. That was the extent of the damage. Totally ruins my weekend. Ugh.

    But onward and upward.

    Hmm, a robot for Halloween… 😉

    We’re thinking about doing King’s Dominion’s Halloweenfest this year. It’s in the works.

    • David

      Misanthrope… we’ve all got Dennis’s arm up us one way or another… there was this act on tv when I was growing up called Rod Hull and emu… emu would attack folk… whilst Rod always insisted “….it wasn’t me!! It was the bird!!!”

  3. Bill

    A festive post for Folsom St Fair weekend, Dennis! Licking Curator’s Ass, hahaha.

    Will probably be hanging with a couple houseguests this weekend, and avoiding the crowds for the most part.


  4. David Ehrenstein


    Great piece on asper Johns

  5. Morgan M. Page

    Hey DC! Just stopping by to say that I finished IW today all in one sitting — couldn’t put it down. Really interesting, different experience the Cycle books. Like watching a brain process grief and love by firing in strange directions. Your take on autofiction? xx M

  6. Dominik


    I’ve seen a few photos of Machine Gun Kelly before and decided that under certain circumstances, he could be okayish eye-candy, and… that’s all I can add, I think, haha. His music is completely uninteresting to me.

    Awh, what an emotional love! Thank you! Love feeling as stuck in his life as the Ass Cat, Od. (Also, it must be fucking difficult to tattoo readable letters around an asshole!)

  7. T

    Hey Dennis! I was kinda surprised that you hadn’t had an anal-themed art day on here before… Most of these hit the spot I have for wacky scat-themed humour, but something about the ‘Let Me Know When You Come’ performance/installation got or spoke to me and my memories in particular somehow.

    Otherwise, I finished ‘I Wished’! I read it in one sitting and was kind of stunned into silence by the end. I found the crater chapters in particular devastatingly sad. It was really resonant how outwardly clear or intelligible or something the voice of the ‘Dennis’ narrator comes through, but then it’s just like one of the images you had of dolphins and articulation being like the surface of the sea, though sometimes it’s still and calm and you can look down into it you only see clearer how unknowable and inaccessible it is. I guess just really glad to have read it (+ discovered your work in general). Thank you for writing it sharing it with us, xT

  8. _Black_Acrylic

    Maybe you know of this one – for the 2016 Turner Prize exhibition, Anthea Hamilton installed this sculpture of an arse at the entrance. Not very hardcore but I’m a fan of her work and enjoy the gesture.

  9. Steve Erickson

    On Etsy, one can commune with the Lord via a Jesus-themed butt plug :

    In 1993, rapper LeShaun dropped “Wide Open,” her ode to pegging barely legal young men: For some reason, lyrics about “how I turn a brother into a punk” were not what America wanted from a female MC!

    If you think Machine Gun Kelly’s rock music is lame, you were lucky enough to miss his hip-hop.

  10. Carles

    Read Para no Molestar a la Marsopa by Carles Rosselló

    Atlantis Ediciones

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