Above: Canard by Antoine Maillard
Studio Bara is an editorial project and pictures laboratory created in 2014 by French illustrators Paul Burckel, Estocafich, and Antoine Maillard. They propose a benevolent yet subversive glance on the male body and its erotic representation through illustration.
They’re big fans of Massive (Anne Ishii and Graham Kolbeins), a gay erotic manga production. They make outfits and translate books of Japanese mangakas such as Tagame or Jiraiya, who are some of their greatest influences. Inspired by their project, Studio Bara wished to create a space to display illustrations of cute men.
They began with a Tumblr blog as a playground aside from their regular professional freelance work. Month after month, their own aesthetic defined itself: Something cute, fun, not so kinky, soft, colorful, body-positive, and a bit bearish. There are now about 10 regular contributors, such as Anne-Charlotte Gauthier, Le Peixe, Yann Bastard, Timothé Le Boucher, Puchou Cocoboules, and Lucie Larousse. They all come from French art schools and are mostly editorial illustrators and cartoonists. And Paul Burckel (with scenarist Hubert) just published the first French mainstream BDSM gay thriller graphic novel, La Nuit Mange le Jour, at Glénat Books.
They will be soon releasing a black-and-white illustration fanzine called 50 Shades of Grrr and some goodies. They are also contributing to the Barcelona magazine Hairy, published by POP Air.
Find them on Tumblr and Instagram. Contact them by email here.