This is simply an electric in coloring and technique pastel and conté crayon large format erotic work by the well listed illustrator and fine artist Mahlon Blaine. The darkly fascinating scene showcases a sleeping nude goddess conjuring spirits which emerge in the vision of a sprawling female nude with a forked serpent’s tongue. The sharp strokes and color palette evoke the magnetism of the subject, who seems so fiery in her unbridled passions as to be literally giving off sparks. Stylistically this is much like the the pen & ink drawings the artist created in 1929 as symbolist illustrations in Paul Verlaine’s Hashish and Incense, the model pictured was likely his wife Duskal Blaine.
Blaine’s devotion to the macabre, the bizarre, and the sexual aspects of his art put the brakes on his commercial career. Select patrons bought his original works during his lifetime but his cult status today emerged only through his rediscovery by sci-fi collectors and underground cartoonists. Though few in number, Blaine’s admirers during his lifetime were fierce. Along with magician Jack Dunninger, who literally kept Blaine fed during lean times (often complaining about the artist’s prodigious appetite), Blaine gathered fans in the elite of New York City’s design world.