In 1995 I met the legendary fetish artist Eric Stanton at Glamourcon when I was competing in a Bettie Page lookalike contest. Eric was on the panel of judges, as was Dave Stevens (The Rocketeer). There were about 7 of us competing including Dita Von Teese whom I nearly lost to because Dave Stevens found her to be a more glamorous and polished Bettie than me– but surprisingly, I won that day. I asked Eric why he pushed for me to win and he said that I “embodied the spirit of Bettie and therefore was Bettie”. Considering that he actually got to work with Bettie in her prime, I was very flattered.
From that day forward we became friends and stayed in touch as pen pals. He and the late Reb Stout persuaded Dian Hanson to feature me for the first time in Leg Show magazine which he was drawing for at the time and I ended up getting the centerfold of the May ’96 issue.
He drew artwork of me and was starting to work on “The Adventures of Persephone”, a comic series with me as the featured anti-heroine, but was unable to finish because he had a series of strokes that eventually led to his death. I have stayed in touch with his son Tom to this day.
When I heard that Eric’s artwork would be displayed at the Taschen Gallery in Beverly Hills, CA I made the trip down to LA to see it in person. There were so many of his pieces on display that it was almost overwhelming. He had such a prolific body of work and it was wonderful to see so much of it under one roof. He was considered to be so low-brow taboo once upon a time and now the high-brow world values his work starting at $15,000. It’s amazing how the rich always seek out to fetishize what they once despised.
I don’t know if this exhibit will be touring or not but if it comes to a city near you, don’t miss it and if it doesn’t, I’m so sorry! It was incredible to see his artwork in person and all of the vivid colors. I don’t think many artists have existed that view women with the kind of ardor he did and it shows in his art.
My eyes welled up with tears when I saw a photo of him working on a drawing 1996, soon after we met. For a short while at the end of his life I was lucky enough to be one of his muses and for that I shall always feel honored.
He was one of the greats and it’s good to see that his work is finally starting to get the attention he deserves.
He never got the amount of recognition he deserved as co-creator of Spiderman, but there is no question in anyone’s mind that his erotic artwork changed the face of the fetish community and empowered women all over the world. He adored women; put them on an altar.
I miss him so very much and few will ever know the “little devil” that resided in his heart as I was lucky enough to see when he’d allow it to peek out.