Tuck Rhodes-Stel is a Soufrikan erotic artist.
The only child of Helena Rhodes and Marko Stel, Tuck discovered a passion and talent for painting at age 9. Throughout puberty, he shifted his focus to the nude, using those friends who were willing as models. It was after getting in trouble for depicting a female schoolmate in a sensual pose that the youth realized he was gay. His subsequent admission of such so shocked his mother that she filed for divorce, as her husband accepted the boy's sexual preference while she did not.
Rhodes-Stel attended University of Soufrika at Roodesburg from 1987 to 1990. After graduating with a Bachelor in Fine Arts, he completed his first professional piece, Mother and Son. The display of the controversial painting—it depicted a 13-year-old boy feeding from his 34-year-old mother's breast in a sexually ambiguous manner, with both figures' aroused genitals in plain view—at the 1990 Soufrikaner Exhibition resulted in Rhodes-Stel's arrest and accusation of the manufacture of child pornography. The highly-publicized trial ended with his acquittal as well as a blossoming of erotic art featuring children. The painter would court controversy a second time with Differences Explored, showing genital play between a white boy and black girl. In 2008, Rhodes-Stel said he would no longer paint models younger than age 12 for commercial purposes.
- Mother and Son (1990)
- The Kiss (1993)
- Strange New Intimacy (1997)
- Boys at Play (2001)
- Girls at Play (2003)
- Differences Explored (2007)
- Young Callipyges (2010)
They call me a pornographer and a pervert. And yet, these are the same people who bring their children to pose for me—selling their flesh and blood. — On his detractors
We attempt to shield our children from their own sexuality—indeed, to deny its entire existence—and ostracize them when they discover it. What fools we are. — On child sexuality
I weep for abused kids everywhere. Rape is rape—don't try to justify it. — On child molestation