Seduction, erotic art and objects of desire
Matti (Senju Horimatsu) Sandberg
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Your favorite virtue.
My favorite virtue, in myself as in others, is empathy. Without this trait or ability we are all lost to darkness and to misinterpretations of what we call reality. The be empathic takes a lot of training as an adult but the rewards are so many. As a young child you are naturally endowed with empathy. It is your number one tool when you are a child. As we grow older we become confused by the constant barrage of ideas from parents, culture, religion etc and we seem to lose this ability.
The idea of ”normal” is one of the issues standing in your way to be empathic. ”Normal” is moot. There is no ”normal”. Admitting to everything´s uniqueness and difference is vital if you want to have a rich inner life. Without empathy this is hard to do. Eroticism and sensuality depends on your ability to be empathic. Without these things become merely exercises to perform mechanically. To be able to imagine what others feel is crucial. Especially when it comes to sex and the erotic.
Your favorite qualities in a Man.
Sensitivity. To listen, not just with your ears, but with your whole Self. A man has to struggle towards letting all his nuances and human traits be present. This is difficult in a culture that does little to help boys and men to handle and express their emotions. ”Manliness” becomes a very limited thing if you are trying to be a stereotypical male. My personal experience of relating to other men is one of frustration.
The fear of not being a ”man” usually makes them somewhat shallow and unintelligent. It is very humorous, and tragic of course, that so many men regard their own sex as the more intelligent one. If that was really true human history would have taken a different path and a lot of suffering would have been avoided. Most of the horrific things that are committed towards other humans are a result of men being fearful of their inner selves. As I take a lot of my inspiration and pointers in life from Japanese culture and religion and it has allowed myself to be more nuanced and enjoy my whole range of emotions. Adding feminism to to Zen buddhism makes life so much better. And of course it liberates my art and allows me to constantly explore the wonderful aspects of being a man.
Your favorite qualites in a Woman.
Inner Strength. Intelligence, the kind that is present on every level of life. Women are really the stronger sex. I have always believed so. I envy their whole being. Honestly. If men wasn’t so fearful of being ”weak” and instead admitted to themselves that women should have the leading role in human society and culture, then perhaps we could really build something wonderful together. Equality is difficult without admitting to your own weaknesses. I feel safe with women. They listen, nurture me, makes my life understandable.
If you want to become a true man this often means to take a lead from women. Most indigenous religions are based on the Mother aspect and their societies are matriarchal. This seems to me like a natural thing. Life comes out of constant birth. Monotheistic religions like Christianity and Islam have created a very unnatural idea of men as leaders and central to humanity. This is an idea that has mostly been endorsed to oppression and violence, which I regards as the arch enemies of sensuality, love, relationships and sex.
Your chief Characteristic.
My chief characteristic is a blend of unending imagination and perhaps fearlessness. I cannot remember a time where I did not love myself and regarded myself as valuable. This has shaped my life tremendously. Of course, I have my ups and downs, problems with almost everything imaginable, but I never doubted my self and my heart. Problems are just problems. They are called problems becomes they are linked to solutions. You just have to look for the solution and accept reality as it is. Applying Zen buddhism thinking and feeling to myself has helped me to slowly, slowly see through the construction we call ”reality” and begin to understand what is real and what is important.
Your main Fault.
This is something that always differ and changes, isn’t it? At the moment I am wrestling with the epiphany of feminism. Realizing that I had no real idea of how women are regarded and met in our culture was an eye opener that I owe greatly to my beloved wife Anna. She gave me tools that were missing since the beginning and I am busy applying them to everything I know and feel. So the fault becomes a wonderful thing. Something to remedy and this process is creative and makes me grow.
Oh, and I talk perhaps a bit more than some people find pleasurable. I raise topics such as the Holocaust at dinner parties and like to discuss and debate (in reality I don’t think this is a fault at all, hahaha).
If not youself, who would you Be?
If not Me I would want to be my Wife Anna. She is the most interesting, creative, sensitive and intelligent person I have met and she is so influential on everything I do.
Your favorite Painter.
Hmm, this is such a tricky question to answer. So many artists influence me on so many levels. If I have to pick just one I think I choose Vincent van Gogh. Not that anything I do is very similar to his work but I am so very moved by all his works. He was highly influenced by Japanese art as well, and managed to transfer this into his personal expression. Also, the complete liberation from the standards of his time and his constant exploring of colors and brushstrokes, the actual physicality of the painting, together with the artistic interpretation is showing me that anything you want can be done. Also, his work has a very sensual side to it. Temperature, texture, smells. It is something that you experience on all levels rather than simply look at.
Your favorite Era.
Now. It is here I am and also the only time in history I can actually experience. Everything that has come before leads up to the present moment. This doesn’t mean that I am not heavily influenced by styles, colors, ideas and minds of the past. They are all filtered through my experience and imagination into this here and Now.
Anna, my wife. She is in everything I do. I paint to show her and share with her. She will always be my muse, I think. Even if I for some horrible reason would lose her I would never lose her. I don’t know if that makes sense.
Your idea of Sensuality.
Most people I guess pair sensuality with the erotic. I do to on may levels. However, sensuality is interconnected with many things. Think about it. Sensuality is pleasure derived from experiencing your senses basically. So touch, smell, taste, sound and hearing all goes into to this thing. This is why modern, mede for consuming pornography completely fails as far as sensuality goes. If you ask me it fails on all accounts, even the pornographical, hahaha. The sexual or erotic aspect of sensuality is a conclusion of sensuality itself. Closeness, intimacy, this is for me the basis of sensual experience. Sensuality can lead up to the erotic and the sexual but doesn’t necessarily have to be the same thing. Without trust, closeness and intimacy there can not be sensuality just mere indulging in some sensation like fucking, or eating, but these things can be so much more.
If sensuality is present, a touch on your skin can be more arousing than plain sex. I usually call this single-mindedness of simply fucking ”genitally orientated”. Like grinding two sticks together to make a fire. It is merely mechanical and faults to deliver anything but small physical sensations. Skin and touch can be very sensual but so can touching a certain fabric be. If you place this fabric on top of someones skin it can be even more sensual. The add perhaps the play of light and shadow, the stillness of a warm summer’s afternoon with the muffled sounds of the city coming into the open window mingling with the piano of Bill Evans on the stereo. Add a great red wine and some asparagus gently fried in olive oil and that is pure sensuality. It all goes together to create what we are really designed to experience as human beings. Forget all the petty shit that constitutes modern life, like money or success, and try to just be alive. Trust someone with your heart and life and give the same back. Then pleasure is everywhere and the erotic blends with your whole day.
Your idea of Freedom.
Freedom is first and foremost to be able You without conforming to any standards or an idea of ”normalcy”. Of course you have to be considerate and empathic in order to be truly free. Walking over others in order to indulge in your desires is just being an asshole.
In this culture we are ruled by unintelligence and idiotic ideas about ”them and us” and ”normal”. We set standards that are hostile to the human heart. Like what is OK sexuality, naming it different things like hetero- and homosexuality. Creating these false barriers and things fake sense of security creates fear which in turn creates hatred. A person should not have to fearful to express themselves. There should be no idea of what is beauty. This beauty we talk and think about so much is everywhere if you dare to look around with open eyes. It was along time since I thought I had an ideal regarding the shape and look of a woman. I have lived long enough to know that there is no such thing as a set standard. It is always a combination of may things and all these things change every second. the universe never stops evolving.
So I guess freedom is the ability to change freely with it. to be able to live respectfully and love who and what you want to love and not having to fear punishment. Suffering under the small minds (of mostly fearful men) is not freedom.
Your idea of Love.
My idea of love is to give myself completely and that the person I love accepts the gift with all its complications and miracles. I also want this gift in return. Then happens something fantastic. Trust, intimacy. Two beings becoming not just one but three! Me, You and a third creation called Us. To be comforted when sad, supported when weak. Also the feeling of giving, to help my close one reach what this person calls happiness, this is love. There is a true joy in giving. Without this there is no receiving. This is love to me.
Your favorite Body part.
My hands. When I use them to touch, paint, create, write, cook, love….
Your first Tattoo.
My first tattoo was a small tribal eye on my upper arm. It was made by a friend with his homemade tattoo equipment in his basement apartment. I was 19 years old I think and it was not the greatest tattoo anyone has seen, hahahaha. Nevertheless, it sent me to where I am today so I am very happy about that decision. I have covered it up long ago but it doesn’t matter. It changed my life.
Japan. I guess anyone can tell. There is so much with Japan that is simply corresponding with who I am and what I feel about life. I will never stop obsessing about Japan.
A crazy thing done for Love.
When I wrote my proposal to my wife on a bar napkin and passed it to her while we were having drinks with some friends. I knew immediately when I met her that I wanted to spend the rest of my days with her no matter what. I had no idea that I was going to propose there and then. It just appeared as the only logical thing to do. We had only been seeing each other for a few months but I guess Love is not so very logical. Thankfully.
”Not tiring of defeat leads to victory”, it’s something Yamaoka Tesshu (1836 – 1888) wrote.
He was an extraordinary man and a great Zen person. I have lived by this mantra for perhaps 15 years now. It has helped me through many hardships and placed suffering into context at the same time as it has helped keeping my reality real.
Current state of mind.
I am very eager and exited about continuing exploring and creating my erotic art. I am also creating a whole new style and school of Japanese tattooing. Plus I am also learning how to make handmade Japanese books so that I can make little dirty books that are very special. So I am in state of happy excitement!