Alexander Aviles Elstabo Backdoor Mistress
8 min

The Pleasure Principle In The Art Of Alexander Aviles aka Elstabo

8 min

The Pleasure principle is the pleasure-seeking of the mind and body without inflicting pain, according to Freud. But I tell you this, there can be no fulfilling reward without pain and struggle. It won't have an impact if it comes too easy. These words accompany one of the paintings on the Instagram account of American artist Alexander Aviles also known as Elstabo. At the same time, BDSM aesthetics that can be seen in his images evoke in mind the concept of pain and pleasure that is rather Nietzschean than Freudian, as the former once wrote, "pleasure is a special kind of pain."

Alexander Aviles Elstabo Mrs Metal Whip

Fig. 1. Mrs. Metal Whip (

 Alexander Aviles Elstabo Table Top Dollie

Fig. 2. Table Top Dollie (

 Alexander Aviles Elstabo Spike Her

Fig. 3. Spike Her (

 Alexander Aviles Elstabo Backdoor Mistress

Fig. 4. Back Door Mistress (

Alexander Aviles Elstabo Loose Ends

Fig. 5. Loose ends (

 Alexander Aviles Elstabo Widow's Leg Kick

Fig. 6. Widow’s Leg Kick (

 Alexander Aviles Elstabo Mistress

Fig. 7. Mistress Ondatop(

Alexander Aviles Elstabo Mistress with whip

Fig. 8.

Alexander Aviles Elstabo Mistress and slaves

Fig. 9.

Alexander Aviles Elstabo BDSM

Fig. 10.

 Alexander Aviles Elstabo BDSM art

Fig. 11. Lady Impaler (

 Alexander Aviles Elstabo BDSM sketch

Fig. 12. Sketch (

Capturing The Beauty

Elstabo is a prolific artist who resides in Brooklyn, NY. He has studied Fashion Industry and Commercial Art at the Fashion Institute of Technology and acquired a BFA degree in Illustration. For a while, he was an art teacher at T.A.H.P. Roots (The Arts of Henson-Parks, the NY educational community) and the Brooklyn Library system of New York. Now, as said on his website, he teaches art at the Breezy Point Beach Club and publishes his books on, the company that specializes in producing art books. Elstabo describes his activity as an artist in the following way: "I'm just capturing the beauty before it fades."

elstabo Drunk On Victory

Fig. 13. Drunk On Victory (

elstabo Faded Sunshine

Fig. 14. Faded Sunshine (

elstabo When The Dead Return

Fig. 15. When The Dead Return (

 elstabo Mother Nature

Fig. 16. Mother Nature (

elstabo Sour Apples

Fig. 17. Sour Apples (

elstabo Whipped Cocktail (Breast cancer series

Fig. 18. Whipped Cocktail (Breast cancer series; 

 elstabo Melt

Fig. 19. Melt (

elstabo Jellicious

Fig. 20. Jellicious (

elstabo American Pie

Fig. 21. American Pie (

elstabo Breasts

Fig. 22.

elstabo Milking Her Honey

Fig. 23. Milking Her Honey (

elstabo Favorite Cream 

Fig. 24. Favorite Cream (

elstabo Venus de Uvas

Fig. 25. Venus de Uvas (

elstabo close up breasts

Fig. 26.

elstabo sketch breast-licking

Fig. 27.

elstabo holding breasts

Fig. 28.

Pleasure And Cancer

Now you may ask what kind of beauty this artist depicts, and the answer will be that the most frequent ideal in his paintings has a fetishistic nature. Female breasts and hips are always accentuated, which implies traditional connotations of the female body as giving birth to the offspring and nurturing it, besides the representation of these body parts as the source of sexual pleasure. This ancient image of the fertile woman is inevitably connected with the motif of death, which brings to mind the eternal embrace of Eros and Thanatos and also reminds us of the vanitas fine art genre. At the same time, the pictures of Elstabo are not merely fetishistic fantasies. For instance, the playful depictions of breasts smeared in fast food are devoted to breast cancer. 

 elstabo Twisted In Your Folds

Fig. 29. Twisted In Your Folds (

elstabo Quarantine

Fig. 30. Quarantine (

Vestal Virgins And The Bloody Council

By all means, the art of Elstabo contains motifs that may be familiar to our followers. For instance, his veiled females, referring both to the allegory of veiled Isis and the Virgin, might be inspired by Corradini's marble La Velata or Vestal Vergin (and by all sculptures of this kind in general). At the same time, those who remember our article about the surrealist art of Felix Labisse may notice the similarity of Elstabo's covered nudes with Labisse's paintings like The Bloody Council (Le Counseil de Sang). The sensual tension of unknown female figures in transparent fabrics showing their breasts is equally manifested in these works. The eternal mystery of women is shown by both painters as veiled and revealed at the same time.

Antonio Corradini Vestal Virgin

Fig.31. Antonio Corradini Vestal Virgin (

Felix Labisse, The Bloody Council

Fig.32. Felix Labisse, The Bloody Council (

In the extended Premium edition of the article more on the brutality in Elstabo's paintings, the similarities between his work and that of the shunga art of the ukiyo-e master Utagawa Kuniyoshi and much more images, 

You can following Elstabo on Instagram.

Click HERE for an article on Eros and Thanatos meeting shunga