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mercoledì 24 agosto 2016

R. C. Hörsch (Strasburg, Pennsylvania 1939) American Artist

R. C. Hörsch


Artista alternativo, regista, compositore, scrittore, porno performer, trafficante di droga, per qualche tempo attivista politico, falsario d'arte, falsario,  coltivatore, air show pilota, disertore dell'esercito, latitante, sociopatico, ex detenuto e all-out cattivo, la vita di RC Horsch è stata colorata e ossessivo come la sua arte ..  

R. C. Hörsch circa 1999
S. E. Stokowski - Own work

R. C. Hörsch (also R. C. Horsch or Raymond Charles Hoersch) (1943- ) is an American photographer, filmmaker, writer, sculptor and musician known for controversial work that blurs the distinction between art and pornography. He is also known for his sociopathic tendencies and sado-masochistic lifestyle. His fifty-year body of work is diverse and ranges from quietly poetic to explicit and disturbing. He is cited academically, along with Hans Bellmer and Robert Maplethorpe, as an example of an artist whose transgressive work is, nevertheless, unequivocally art. Criticism of his work both praises his authenticity, sensitivity and masterful technique and condemns the exploitation of his subjects.


Official records list his birth name as Raymond Charles Hoersch and his birth date as 5 May 1943 in East Stroudsburg, Monroe County, Pennsylvania. However, baptismal and U.S. Department of Justice records place the year as early as 1933.

Criminal history

During the Viet Nam era, Hörsch was a draft dodger and army deserter who was granted amnesty and later pardon under mass issuances of such by Gerald Ford in 1974 and Jimmy Carter in 1977. His criminal history includes multiple counts of forgery (1972-1975), counterfeiting (1974), manufacturing controlled substance (1977), fugitive from justice (1977-1984), assault of security officer(s) (1997) and large-scale growing of marijuana (2009). He was suspected of (but never charged with) the smuggling of large amounts of marijuana into the United States from Mexico (1967-1971) and the wholesale manufacture of chemically pure methamphetamine (1977-1979). Charges of simple assault (2001), theft (2003) and sexual offenses (2009) were subsequently dismissed or nol prossed. He served three Federal prison sentences: 1975-1976, 1984-1989 and 2009-2013. He was released from custody on June 23, 2013.

Psychological history

Hörsch has been tested with a Stanford-Binet range of 145-160. Psychological and psychiatric evaluations conducted by the United States Third District Federal Court in 1985 diagnosed bipolar disorder, severe clinical depression and characterological disorder with sociopathic, paranoid and active schizophrenic psychosis features.


In the 1960s, after briefly trying marriage and pursuits in engineering and computer science, Hörsch began working in film and became known for his expertise in directing small children for television commercials. Simultaneously, he started a career as a still photographer but supplemented his income as an art forger specializing in Picasso etchings. Then, when his Viet Nam era draft deferments ran out in 1968, he began a seven-year stint as an army deserter that was ultimately resolved by mass presidential amnesty. For several years during this decade, he fed both his love of airplanes and his adrenaline addiction by flying bales of marijuana into the U.S. from Mexico.[citation needed] On a freelance basis, he made many live action clips for the Children's Television Workshop ("Sesame Street") during its pioneering first year (1969)[citation needed] but he is perhaps best known for his magazine photo layouts which juxtaposed high fashion models and "skid row" escorts.
In the early 1970s he directed television commercials in addition to producing and directing theatrical pornographic films like the 1973 cult classic The Erotic Memoirs of a Male Chauvinist Pig which starred Georgina Spelvin (known for her work in Devil in Miss Jones). Also during this period, he began a career as a porn performer by doubling for Harry Reems after a "splash" (ejaculation) shot was lost to a camera film jam. This career, spanning over forty years, continued until 2006 with regular appearances in Pleasure Productions' Streets of New York and Taxi Tales public sex series and other films.
Counterfeiting $10 bills landed him in Federal prison in 1974. Then in 1976, an indictment for the manufacture of Federally controlled substances marked the beginning of eight years as an international fugitive. He lived mostly in New Zealand and Australia during those years but somehow managed to fly a Bede BD-5 micro-jet aircraft in various U.S. air shows, boldly appearing on ABC's Wide World of Sports during the 1980 Reno Air Races.
His artistic career resumed in earnest shortly after completing his second Federal prison term and then, beginning in the 1990s, his steadily growing body of work began attracting international attention with major one-man exhibitions in New York, Rome, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
In 1993, he produced and directed a series of groundbreaking, couples oriented, erotic documentaries entitled Lovers: an Intimate Portrait for Candida Royalle's woman-owned Femme Distribution Company. In 2003, he completed a controversial and disturbing quasi-documentary about artistic obsession, dysfunction, sexual abuse and degradation entitled, Slaves. In 2006 he finished another controversial experimental film project about a psychopathic killer and his victim entitled, Snuff! And in 2008 he finished a feature documentary about political activist and porn star Nina Hartley and the emerging pro-sex feminist movement entitled Nina. His self-described magnum opus, Deleted Scenes, currently in the making, continues his obsession with dark sexual themes.
During the first decade of this century, his images have increasingly reflected his focus on the darker aspects of humanity. In 2009, as his artistic career was gaining momentum, he was again arrested, this time for growing medical marijuana, and served another four years in Federal prison.
He was released in June 2013, immediately publishing three novels and a collection of short stories and continuing his obsessive fifteen-year photographic exploration of heroin-addicted prostitutes. A two-part minimalist exhibition of approximately 200 of these images was presented June 2014 in his home town of Philadelphia.

Feature films

  • The Erotic Memoir of Edmund Bernard Satterthwaite, IV; A Male Chauvinist Pig, Cinema Menteur, 1973, released by Mature Films Enterrprises, 1973, re-mastered and re-released 2013 by Distribpix, Inc.
  • Miss Terry Takes a Liberty, Cinema Menteur, 1973, released by Mature Films Enterprises, 1974
  • Lovers, An intimate Portrait, vol 1: Sydney and Ray, Cinema Menteur, 1994, released by Femme Distribution, Inc., 1994
  • Lovers, An Intimate Portrait, vol 2: Jennifer and Steve, Cinema Menteur, 1994, released by Femme Distribution, Inc., 1994
  • Slaves, Cinema Menteur, 2003, released by IMC / Eroto~, 2003
  • Snuff!, Cinema Menteur, 2006, released by IMC / Eroto~, 2006
  • Nina, Cinema Menteur, 1998-2008, released by IMC / Eroto~ 2008

Major exhibitions

  • Sex, Neikrug Photografika, 224 E 68th Street, 10021, Wed-Sat 1-5, Sept
  • To the Prurient Interest, Las Vegas, NV, 2004, Los Angeles, CA, 2004
  • Body and Mind, Los Angeles,CA (2005), Rome, 2005
  • Retrospective, Philadelphia, PA, 2014
  • Transgressions, Philadelphia, PA, 2014


  • The Home and Farm Manual for the Production of Alcohol Fuels, Stephen W. Mathewson (pen name), 10-Speed Press, Berkeley, CA, First edition January 1, 1980, ISBN 978-0898150308
  • Eroto~ To the Prurient Interest, vol. 1, R.C. Hörsch, IMC/Eroto~, Philadelphia, PA, 1st edition August 1, 2003, ISBN 9780972973106
  • Eroto~ To the Prurient Interest, vol. 2, R.C. Hörsch, IMC/Eroto~, Philadelphia, PA, 1st edition August 1, 2003, ISBN 978-0972973113
  • Empathy: The Memoir of an Empathetic Serial Killer,' R.C. Hörsch, IMC/Eroto~, Philadelphia, PA, 1st edition Mar 3, 2014, ISBN 978-1492890553
  • Annie, R.C. Hörsch and M. Anna Ferkuniak, IMC/Eroto~, Philadelphia, PA, 1st edition Mar 3, 2014, ISBN 978-1492971054
  • Transgressions, R.C. Hörsch, IMC/Eroto~, Philadelphia, PA, 1st edition Mar 3, 2014, ISBN 978-1493512454
  • Slaves, R.C. Hörsch, IMC/Eroto~, Philadelphia, PA, 1st edition Mar 3, 2014, ISBN 978-1492177180


  • The Mammouth Book of Erotic Photography, Maxim Jakubowski (editor), Running Press; Fourth Edition (October 1, 2013), ISBN 978-0762449446
  • The Mammouth Book of Erotic Women, Maxim Jakubowski (editor), Running Press; 1ST edition (October 19, 2005), ISBN 978-0786716029
  • Photo Sex, David Steinberg (editor), Down There Press, San Francisco, 2003, ISBN 978-0940208322
  • Sex in the City — An Illustrated History, by Alison Maddox with forward by Camille Paglia, Rizzoli Universe Publishing (February 14, 2006), ISBN 978-0789315076


R.C. Horsch on Vimeo
External Links. Website - The books, music, videos and photographs of R.C. Horsch; Wikipedia Article - Wikipedia article.
 Susan, 1972
Alice, 1993
 Somebody's Fantasy, 1993
A Rose is a Rose, 1993 

 Paula and Prince, 1993

 Strippers, 1994

 Bubble Gum Sex, 1995
 Heather, 1995
 Painted Woman, 1995
High Rise, 1996
 Deer Crossing, 1997
 Defiant, 1998
 Negotiators, 1999
 Streetwalker Aimie, 2000
R.C. Horsch. artista americano (Strasburg, Pennsylvania 1939) Erotismo, pornografia soft e hard, violenza, autodistruzione, morte vera o presunta. Queste le fonti di ispirazione di Horsch, che a 66 anni non demorde, anzi sembra sempre più attirato da situazioni estreme, che cattura in immagini di straordinario livello tecnico. Immagini che cercano di superare ogni limite, toccando perverso, macabro e blasfemo. “Non faccio che seguire ciò che mi detta l’anima, che mi dice l’istinto -dichiara ad Exibart- io non lavoro con il cervello, ma con il cazzo, e finché potrò andrò sempre più avanti… fino in fondo”.
Le fotografie esposte sono frutto di una selezione effettuata da Luis e Theresa de la Cruz, curatori delle due grandi mostre (197 immagini) dedicate a Horsch nel 2003 a Las Vegas e a Los Angeles. Una vera e propria via crucis, che inizia con foto romantiche e vagamente erotiche per finire con quanto di più eccessivo e disturbante si possa immaginare.
Horsch, oltre che fotografo e regista, è stato anche compositore, porno-performer, pilota di volo acrobatico, disertore (per non andare in Vietnam), agitatore politico, produttore di droghe, dottore in chimica, fisica e ingegneria elettronica. E’ una vita spericolata, la sua. In passato è stato testimone e protagonista della scena decadente newyorkese, ambiente di cui ha documentato con maestria gli aspetti meno noti e meno edificanti. Sono sue le immagini scattate tra i clienti del Voult, il locale sadomaso più famoso di Manhattan, ormai chiuso, che tra il 1993 e 1995 segnò un’epoca di folli trasgressioni.
Oggi Horsch lavora nella sua vecchia e cadente casa di famiglia, nel cui scantinato ha allestito un set molto speciale per fotografare e riprendere donne di ogni tipo, dopo averle umiliate, sacrificate, e rese prive di volontà. “E’ li che la mia arte e la mia mente sono ossessivamente trascinate. Sono impaurito, terrorizzato perché non so dove tutto ciò mi porterà”.
Questa retrospettiva, la prima in Europa, è stata organizzata dal suo amico e produttore Michele Capozzi, che si definisce a sua volta pornografo ed esploratore urbano, e sarà proprio grazie a Capozzi se le foto di Horsch potranno presto sfidare la prouderie cinese con una grande mostra a Shangai.
Ma concludiamo con una nota di colore. Per scaldare l’atmosfera, ammesso che ce ne fosse bisogno, il giorno dell’inaugurazione chi si fosse presentato meno vestito avrebbe avuto in dono una stampa fotografica di Horsch. Si sono visti molti vestiti sexy e alcuni visitatori completamente nudi hanno suscitato sorpresa e divertimento, creando una sorta di osmosi tra il bizzarro pubblico e i soggetti delle foto, un’atmosfera molto apprezzata dall’artista.

pierluigi sacconi
r c horsch

copyright: r.c. hörsch

Photo by Ray Horsch, courtesy of the artist.




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