Shortly after he had completed the etchings for Briefe an Mirjam, Horst Janssen started working on a complementary set of images similar in style but introducing another recurring element, death in skeletal form. It was not the first time he had explored the subject of sex and death – the 1974 portfolio Totentanz (Dance of Death) included many similar images.
Another unifying feature in Postscriptum für Nao is Janssen’s interpretation of the Japanese kanji character nao, 直, the intended meaning here probably being ‘honest’. Nao is a reference to the Tokyo-based paper store Nao Paper, where Janssen sometimes exhibited; it may also have been his pet name for Mirjam Madlung at the time.
Like Briefe an Mirjam, these eerie prints were printed by Janssen’s long-term printing partner Hartmut Frielinghaus.
Postscriptum für Nao was published in a limited numbered edition of 100 copies.
We are very grateful to Hans-Jürgen Döpp for these images; Hans-Jürgen, the compiler of many books on erotic art, curates the Venusberg online gallery and bookshop which you can find here.