dirty life & times

timeless instinct

The Times Square Underground

In the 1950s there was a series of underground publishers and artists based in Times Square. The produced prolific catalogues of erotic and pornographic literature. Eventually the law got involved and these beautiful works were being banned.

Many of these images and publications are now legal and being put together as collections and anthologies.

This image is a cover from an issue of the vintage erotica publication Satin Satellite. The cover was illustrated by Eugene Bilbrew.

This cover is either from the 50’s or the 60s, I am not sure exactly which.

Eugene Bilbrew’s story eventually became a sad one. While he had spent many years in illustration in various parts of the country for an array of publications, even once illustrating a children’s humor page. Bilbrew’s work became more notable in the early 1950s. That is when he enlisted as a fetish artist at the encouragement of Eric Stanton. He was to produce work for Irving Klaw. He was also enlisted to create illustrations for Exotique, a fetish magazine published by Leonard Burtman between 1955 and 1959.

When the laws of censorship began to relax in the 1960’s, work for Bilbrew began to decline. By the early 70’s his substance abuse problem that he once had worsened. It is said that Gene Bilbrew died of an overdose in the back of a Times Square adult bookstore in May, 1974.