The Virtuous is visceral in both senses of the word; provoking a strong emotional reaction and having to do with guts. Intestines pour from torsos and crotches on every page. It sounds grotesque, and it is, but also beautiful. Bodies in this art zine are distorted, elongated, embedded with diamonds or dripping with strange tentacle-like growths. I love this book because of the way Smyth skewers the way the female form is usually presented and embraces the body in all its disgusting glory. Bodies are distorted, elongated, embedded with diamonds or dripping with strange tentacle-like growths. Even without a narrative, it is a powerful, gorgeous work.
(20 interior pages, 5.5”x 8.5”, b&w with screenprinted cover, self-published)
Available for purchase here.