Just before his death, Roberto Matta was interviewed by London Tate Gallery’s contributing editor Hans Ulrich Obrist. Among many other interesting responses, he explained that ‘Each of us has our own erotic dream. But what do we know of other people’s dreams? We can only imagine what the dreams of others are by looking at our own. We are constantly changing, and we need to understand that others change as we change. So there are no definites, no fixities – there is only the ephemeral.’
This provides the background to Matta’s only truly erotic portfolio, FMR, which translates phonetically to ‘F–M–R–al’ or ‘ephemeral’.
He chose Sebastián rather than Roberto as his name, and the subtitle ‘oémes’ (poems with no observable beginning), as further reminders of the mutability of relationship.
Matta’s curvaceous flesh-coloured forms writhe around each print, with clear suggestions of intertwined breasts and buttocks, genitals and body hair, but the connections between the parts are always ambiguous, predating the current debate around gender fluidity by half a century.
FMR was published by Éditions Georges Visat, Paris, in a limited numbered edition of 85 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.