I'm a big fan of Taschen art books and a big fan of wrestling erotica. In 2001 when the publisher released a coffee-table edition of the photos of Theo Ehret, called Exquisite Mayhem: The Spectacular and Erotic World of Wrestling, edited by artists Cameron Jamie and Mike Kelley, I hinted broadly to friends that it would make a terrific Christmas present for "somebody." Not one person bit. Like many of my unanswered prayers, I shrugged it off, eventually forgetting the book even existed.
Last Friday, payday, I bought the newly reissued book for myself. Not only does it contain the expected private stash of Ehret's shots of apartment wrestling, amazon poised against amazon (more "posed," than "poised," though), the hefty book gives equal attention to Ehret's photo-documentation of Los Angeles' professional wrestling scene in the 1960s and 1970s, featuring greats like Tony Atlas, Mil Mascaras, Andre the Giant. and Jesse Ventura. Mud wrestling, bondage, boxing, midget wrestling, and wrestling on roller skates are also briefly featured. Though not for everybody, obviously, the book is an incredible treat for me, long fixated on the exquisite allure of sex and violence (not "allures," plural, but singular, since it is the seamless synthesis of the two that fascinates me).