The Dark Lord of Pinup

by Rich Moreland, January 2014

                                                                                                                                                  The is the second post about the Vegas Convention. To read about this year’s “Legends of Erotica” which featured the induction of Evil Angel’s Christian         Mann into that hall of fame, go to AINews.com and check out my column on the event.

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The days of pornographers hustling video tape and print material as their sole income source are way behind us. Today’s adult purveyors are expanding into other revenue builders. Evil Angel’s John Stagliano, arguably the most innovative man in the adult business, introduced me to his new line of clothing at this year’s AEE.

Called “Evil Apparel by Armando Huerta,” the clothing features erotic art printed on casual wear (t-shirts, leggings) using a process called sublimation which “keeps all the details of the art,” fashion designer Lea Lexis says. “It will never fade or crack, like other prints.”

Lea and Evil Apparel Photo by Bill Knight

Lea and Evil Apparel
Photo by Bill Knight

The former Romanian gymnast insists that “clothing itself is art, now we’re putting art on clothing.” Though the Evil Angel brand is everyday attire, the customer is wearing something “unique and interesting,” she says.

A partnership between Lea Lexis and John Stagliano led to a start-up company to produce artistic clothing. Previously she had done a bit of design work for the porn mogul. This project is much more substantial. “He pushes me to be more creative, I admire him so much,” Lexis says. She regards Stagliano as a true inspiration, a legend who “manages to upstage everybody.”

For readers who are unfamiliar with the world of filmed pornography, Lea Lexis uses her gymnastics background to twist and frame her body for the camera. She is a adult actress whose work in Evil Angel’s “Voracious” series is widely recognized.

Artist Armando Huerta carries the descriptor, “The Dark Lord of Pinup,” having worked over twenty years producing exclusive art for collectors. Huerta’s creations are quite familiar to John Stagliano. They have appeared in Evil Angel’s publication “Buttman Magazine” for about fifteen years.

Armando shows off his work Photo by Bill Knight Photo by Bill Knight

Armando shows off his work
Photo by Bill Knight

Though he began with pinups, Huerta has evolved into an erotic artist with some of his work being explicit. “Total nudity, spreads, butt holes, penetration,” is how he describes that aspect of his work.

Armando Huerta moved to America from his native Mexico after putting together collections of his work and marketing them in the States. His talent ultimately developed into a career and his first US show was at the AVN convention eleven years ago. Despite success, Huerta had professional decisions to make. This is America after all, arguably one of the most religiously prudish countries on the planet.

“My first paintings were pretty explicit and that helped me a lot because people were amazed that an artist had the guts to produce that kind of material,” Huerta says. Of course, some opinions urged him to become more conservative and stick with the Bettie Page type of art. Moving in that direction prompted client reactions that surprised him, Huerta remembers. “What are you doing? We don’t want this,” became a collective response. So, he decided to travel the middle road, “some explicit, some conservative.”

Bobbi Starr, former Evil Angel director, once said to me that no mother wants her daughter taking off her clothes for a pornographer. But what about an artist whose work contains a pornographic flavor, what are mom’s thoughts? Armando Huerta explains his fortunate situation.

“I come from Mexico and we don’t really care about anything,” Huerta says, referring to his erotic art creations. “In my culture if my mother is proud of me, I really don’t care about anything [else],” he adds with a smile.

He mentions America’s entrenched religious attitudes that tend to drive our culture. But in his case, Armando Huerta never had any “frustrations” about the art he produces.

A true visionary, Huerta explains he is not into his creations to make money, but does not deny money will come his way if his art is appreciated.

“The money is a consequence of what you do,” he says.

The Latino artist has five color books, large format, sixty to sixty-five pages, and three sketches books for purchase. Visit armandohuerta.com for details.

I turn to Lea Lexis for some final words about the official launch of Evil Apparel by Armando Huerta. The clothing has generated interest at the adult convention and is scheduled for the fashion portion of The Magic Show, an upcoming mainstream convention in Las Vegas, she says. The testing stage will be history and the marketing campaign will be underway.

Expression tells the story of a rising business success Photo by Bill Knight

Expression tells the story of a rising business success
Photo by Bill Knight

The clothing can be purchased online at EvilApparel.com. Eventually the products will be available in retail sex stores. “Our styles are unique,” Lexis says with a smile.

We discuss for a moment the meaning of “high end” when it comes to the apparel market and my photographer Bill offers that the Evil Angel clothing targets a special market, “wearable art aficionados.” That is hardly the first time “aficionado” has been used to describe an Evil Angel customer, I imagine.

Chatting with John, clothing on display in the background. Photo by Bill Knight

Chatting with John, clothing on display in the background.
Photo by Bill Knight

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