tagIncest/TabooAll in the Name of Art

All in the Name of Art


I guess it all began when Mom found out about my tumblr. Or more precisely, when she found out that I had a tumblr. I was on the sofa, vaguely following a basketball game on the TV with my computer in my lap, checking the new updates on my tumblr dashboard, when Mom surprised me when she asked: "Do you think I should get a tumblr account too?"

I didn't know she was even in the room, and her unexpected presence and question freaked me out almost as much as the fact that I was basically looking at naked girls and that is never the best thing to be doing when your mother walks in on you unannounced, even when you're 22 and supposedly allowed (if not entitled) to do so. So I blushed, I hurriedly changed the window to something more respectable, and I probably stuttered before I was able to reply, in a rabbit-in-the-headlights kind of way:

"Erm, Mom, I don't know, maybe."

"Mike keeps telling me I should, but I just don't see the point. I mean, what's the difference with having a website?"

I managed to gather myself a little. Mike is a friend of Mom's who's in love with technology, and it figured he'd have talked to Mom about it.

"Well, it's different. I mean, a website is to put up your stuff - you can do that with tumblr too, but I suppose the interesting thing is getting exposed to so many different things too."

"That's the part that I don't really get. How is it different from browsing?"

"See, you subscribe to certain people, who share some of your interests, and... well, it's like a river that flows, and you can just pick and choose the things that you like to put on your tumblr."

"So it's not just your own stuff?"

I shook my head. "No - I mean, you can put up your own stuff too, there's no set rule about how you use it. But the way I see it, it's like building a bulletin board of the things you like or that you want to keep, and finding more things to put there."

"Hm. Not sure I completely understand what you mean, but... do you think I should have one?"

"I don't know. Are you looking for inspiration?"

"You know I always am."

I shrugged. "Then maybe you should try it - I mean, it's free, and if you don't like it, you can just delete it easily."

Mom pouted, visibly pondering what I had just said. I felt secretly relieved that the technical aspects had somewhat steered the conversation away from the actual content of my tumblr account. I had opened it a few months before, and I had soon been somewhat hooked on the system, gathering an interesting collection of pictures (and the odd video) relating to my personal "interests" - summed up in the short sentence I had put under the title: "Things that get my imagination (and my pulse) racing - heavy breasts and cummy smiles." I know, I am something of a poet, at times.

To be honest, I thought that Mom should have one too. Not for the same purpose, of course - but Mom was a photographer, and while her daily job involved portraits, baby pictures, and corporate shots, she also pursued some artistic projects on the side, even leading to exhibitions a few times in the past. She had set up a small studio in the basement for that, where she also had a rather extensive collection of art books and magazines. So yes, tumblr made complete sense for her. Which I told her, and she pouted again.

"Maybe you're right. I might give it a try..."

I smiled, encouragingly, and she continued.

"While we're talking about it, I didn't see well what your tumblr was about, but that title sure sounds interesting..." I blanched, and she must have noticed because she quickly said. "Thanks for the advice, sweety. You rock." She gave me a hurried hug, a peck on the cheek, and left softly humming to herself. I watched her walk out of the room, then, cautiously, I opened back the tumblr window. In the top-right of the screen, next to the picture of a busty blonde literally bursting out of her pink bikini, was the title I had chosen, a few months before, after long minutes of hesitation: "Forbidden Fantasies." I sighed, and closed the computer.

* * * * *

Of course, over the next few weeks, I became a little apprehensive every time I thought of updating my tumblr. I certainly would check that Mom wasn't around when I did, but I never envisioned that our chat about tumblr would lead to anything else than one little awkward moment. Which means Mom surprised me again when one evening, she explained that she had started a new personal project.

"Bear with me, Chris, okay? Because at this stage, it's just a bundle of ideas, intentions, and intuitions, and it will certainly evolve as I progress."

"Sure, Mom." I smiled. I thought it was funny to see her both very enthusiastic and a little insecure at the same time - it was always the same whenever she started something new. And every time, she had come up with something impressive. She's talented, she's my Mom, and she's a truly beautiful woman, but when she is pursuing her art she becomes positively radiant. I love her for that, and of course so many other things, and I was always glad that she chose to share those moments with me and only me. I felt that I was participating, even if only very marginally, in what she would be creating, and it was nice, this bond we shared as far back as I can remember.

"I've been thinking of doing something on the representation of women, especially in the male perception, and how it can be re-appropriated as a means to empowerment."

"O-kay... I'm not sure I follow you completely there."

"Here's what I intend to do: I'm going to recreate all the pictures on a tumblr replacing all the women with myself. And this way, making a statement by showing how a single woman can represent all aspects of the male's fantasies - instead of having to conform to a single, restricted one."

"I see. But Mom, wouldn't that be more appropriate to try and do with a women's magazine? Considering they are at least as much directive when it comes to what a woman should look like?"

"That was one of my first ideas, baby, but it's a bit too twentieth century, especially when you see all those articles explaining how online porn redefines a lot of body expectations for today's teens."

"So you want to get 2.0?"

"Something like that. What do you think?"

"Hm, I think it's interesting. I mean, you do have a point..."

"Is there a 'but' coming?"

I smiled. "No, at least not for the moment."

"It's just a first intention, you know, something to get at least some raw material for the finished project. Maybe I'll look into other ways to explore that topic, but I like this idea."

"Good. It's nice to see you with a new project. It's been some time since the last."

"I know, I know. It feels good, that's for sure. And I have you to thank for the idea."

Suddenly, I was confused - as well as chilled with dread, a sense of impending doom. "Really? How so?"

"Your tumblr has been a great inspiration for me."

I froze. "I don't understand."

She smiled. "Well, you told me about tumblr, remember? And I was curious and I checked yours, and there was a nice selection of pictures and I thought that it would be a good basis for my project."

I blanched. "Mom! What... do you mean that...?"

She nodded, still smiling. "Yes, I mean that... (she giggled) Oh come on, I've seen far worse. And I was lazy, I didn't want to spend hours trying to find another tumblr that would be so suitable for me. I took it as a sign, you know?"

I shook my head in disbelief. Thoughts were colliding in my brain, I felt that the whole thing was wrong in so many ways. "But Mom, you can't..."

"Why? Baby, I won't judge you for what you have on this page. And again, I've seen far worse than yours, to be honest I think there's a lot of great pictures up there."

"But - but there's porn. I mean, if you recreated the pictures, that means that..."

"Oh come on, baby... what's with a little nudity? I'm an artist, remember? A photographer, we shoot nudes", she chuckled. "Besides, yours is more erotic than porn, it has beauty and taste. Some of it is quite artistic already in the lighting and angles used, giving me a lot to work with."

I was at a loss, and I couldn't get myself to actually voice what was my last argument - that the idea of my tumblr recreated with my mother in each and every naughty picture was both disturbing and strangely arousing at the same time. I couldn't find the words, so I ended up standing and pacing and waving my arms around, looking like some poor stranded bird.

Mom shook her head and laughed softly. "Oh baby, you're taking this way too seriously. It's just a project, remember? I don't know how many of those pictures I'll keep in the end, or in what direction I might move from that. It always works like that with photography: take a ton of shots, and only keep the perfect ones."

I shrugged, still not convinced, still confused.

"Oh, baby, don't be so stuck up. I would have never thought you'd have a problem about that. It's not like I have never posed nude - I did a series of self-portraits in one of my shows, remember?"

I hm-hmed diplomatically, as I realized Mom was mistakenly assuming I had a problem with her taking nude photos, while the issue was something else entirely. She carried on:

"Come here, I'm going to show you the first pictures I took. It's just a start, and rest assured, so far I've mostly focused on clothed shots, but I think it's promising."

She opened her laptop and motioned me to come and sit next to her on the sofa. I reluctantly obeyed, and she nudged me playfully. On the screen were a couple of pictures, all of my mother. She was clothed in all of them, even if some outfits were a little revealing and showed a little cleavage - and in another window behind those, were the original pictures I had reposted on my tumblr. Mom's weren't exact copies - the clothes, the background, the props were different but similar enough so that there was no possible doubt about the inspiration. And of course, it was Mom instead of the models - and while she was not as endowed as some of the more generous ones, she was definitely curvier than others. Which, thinking about it, might have explained why she had chosen my tumblr over others, as my... fascination with heavy breasts did turn her ample bosom (somewhere between DD and DDD, as she had explained to me during an excruciating shopping spree) into some kind of advantage.

"What do you think?"

"Well, I guess it's interesting, in a way." I opted for the diplomatic approach.

"It's just a start. I've been trying to find the best way to do this, and there are a few tricks that are going to help me. And once I get that working, I'm going to expand the selection."

"That's good, I suppose." My tone wasn't exactly enthusiastic.

"Thanks for the vote of confidence, buster," she frowned.

"Sorry, Mom - I'm sure it's going to be great. I'm curious as to how it's going to turn out in the end."

"So am I, baby, so am I." She smiled innocently, and I was left with the impression that maybe, I had overreacted. Sometimes, it happens.

* * * * *

I didn't think much about it during the following week. Sure, Mom was in a good mood, as she often was during those early stages of a new project. The frustrations and the doubts usually came later, when decisions had to be made, and when the exploration finally was about to turn into a statement. But in a way, the project was a distant thing, an abstract concept that I could easily put aside in my mind, and go on with my daily life.

Things changed on Friday, as I was getting home from the University. When I opened the door, I heard voices coming from the living room. Getting closer, I spotted Mom and Mike chatting, Mike sitting at the desk in front of a computer, and Mom standing next to him. Mike was overweight, with a gray beard and a receding hairline, and sported thick glasses like the ones that usually scream "nerd" in a movie. Mike was smart, but the stereotype stopped there, as he also was very funny and likable, and despite his looks, quite popular with women from what Mom had told me (not that anything had happened between them, she had also assured me). I grabbed a Coke from the fridge, and came to the door of the living room.

"Hey Mike."

"Hey Chris," Mike said with a little wave of his hand.

"Hey Baby."

They were obviously in the middle of something, as Mike carried on, talking to my mother.

"So the solution is not super elegant, but it works. And the way those sites keep changing their APIs, the brute force approach ends up being more resilient in the long term."

"How does it work?"

"Well, you have to launch the script, and what it does is it's going to load the entire page in this frame. And then it reproduces the layout in this other frame, replacing the pictures with placeholders, and including those for which you've created a substitute."

"Okay, looks good. And how do I add a new picture?"

"You just click on the placeholder, and choose the replacement from your folder, there."

"And what if I want to change the replacement?"

"Works exactly the same. Click, choose, and you're done."

"Mike, you're incredible. That's perfect."

"Hey, what can I say? Pure talent, you can't fake it."

"Thanks a lot, you can't imagine how excited I am to begin working with that."

"Good. Any hint on what that new project will be about?"

"Mike, you know me, I wouldn't want to jinx it." Mom smiled, and if I didn't know better, I would have believed her.

Mike stood up, accepted the hug Mom gave him, then picked up his things and winked at me as Mom walked him to the door. I heard them say goodbye, and Mike left.

Mom nearly sprinted back to the computer, and started busying herself on the keyboard. Slightly worried, I came closer to inquire. "What are you doing, Mom?"

She held up her index finger. "Just a minute - give me a minute, and I'll show you." It took her a little more than five minutes to actually finish what she was doing, and then she beckoned me. I came to stand by her shoulder, an ominous feeling suddenly clutching my stomach. On the computer screen, there was a browser window opened, divided vertically in two halves. On the left side was my tumblr, complete with naughty pictures, title and tag line; on the right side was a page with exactly the same layout (including title and tag line), only most of the pictures were replaced by light gray rectangles. Mom scrolled down, and proudly showed me how some of the gray areas were replaced by pictures featuring herself, creating that strange doppelganger of my tumblr that she had set out to do. There were maybe a dozen shots, some of which I had seen the previous week, and some newer. The more recent ones a little more revealing than the earlier ones, including a bare nipple in one case.

The whole thing was strangely fascinating - and to be honest, I could definitely see the artistic value in Mom's project. If only it wasn't so unsettling to me, that is.

"So, baby, what do you think?"

"Well... I don't know. I see what you want to get at, and I think the setup is rather effective..."

"Mike did really deliver on that one. I told him what I had in mind, and this is what he came up with in two days. And that means I'm going to be able to get seriously working on this now. There's quite a lot of pictures to take there."

I blinked. "You- you intend to redo all the pics in there?"

She smiled. "That's the idea, yeah. I started with a few dressed ones, because I wanted to get a feel for it. But now that I have all the tools I need figured out, I'm going to move to the next stage." She looked at me and winked. Between Mike and her, I suddenly had the impression everyone was in on the joke - except me.

* * * * *

Without a doubt, Mom did take it to the next stage - not that she was sharing anything with me. She was obviously busy and enjoying it during the following week. Most of her evenings were spent in the basement studio, but on a few occasions I bumped into her "above ground", taking her tripod, camera and computer to her room, at one point commandeering the bathroom for the better part of two hours, and even a session down in the kitchen. So yes, things were definitely happening.

As for myself, I didn't really know what to make of it. On a purely intellectual level, I thought her approach was interesting, and I was curious to see the result - or at least, the work-in-progress. But at the same time, I still found the whole thing unsettling in many ways.

On Friday evening, as we were finishing a pizza, I tried to bring up the subject.

"Erm, Mom, by the way, I wanted to talk to you about that project of yours..."

She giggled. "Oh you're right, I'm sorry, I've been so obsessed with it this week that... (she shook her head) Give me a minute, I'm going to go and grab my computer, and I'll show you how it's shaping up. I'd really love to have your input on it, baby."

Before I could even reply, she was gone, and came back a minute or two later with her laptop under her arm. She pushed the pizza box and the plates off the table, and set up the computer. We waited while it booted up, and all of sudden my throat felt very dry. The Windows desktop finally appeared on the screen, and Mom launched the App that Mike had designed for her. Ironically, the icon Mike had chosen was a demonic smiley face, complete with the little purple horns. The loading icon also included the same demonic smiley face, and I frowned. "Why the little demon? Does Mike think you're going to Hell for doing this?"

Mom chuckled. "No, silly, that's his signature. He puts it in all the apps he does, you're reading way too much into this. And what are you, the moral police?"

I was about to reply when the script finished running and the page appeared on the screen. I nearly gasped. On the left was the familiar array of pictures that made up my tumblr (which I hadn't updated in a week, partly out of being too busy, partly out of feeling somehow observed by my mother). But it was the right part of the screen that (of course) was catching my attention. Mom scrolled down - once, twice, three, four times. There were still a few gray areas, corresponding to animated gifs and a series of pics detailing a cumshot (which were, thankfully, the only openly pornographic pictures of that selection - though I knew there were sections of my tumblr which were way racier than that one). But apart from those understandable omissions, Mom had reenacted all the pictures on the page, with various degrees of faithfulness - ranging from approximate to uncannily similar. There was Mom wearing a black bra and a white shirt and showing deep cleavage, there was Mom's chest in a simple black tank top, there was Mom topless taking off a vintage dress, there was Mom looking sultry in a black bra-and-panties with a single breast hanging out, there was Mom pensive in a large, sheer white t-shirt that revealed the generous curve of her chest, there was Mom wearing glasses with a purple top, her breasts hanging out and her tongue at the corner of her mouth... Mom interrupted my reverie.

"It's still a rough approach - there are some pictures I'll have to reshoot so that they are more faithful to the original. But it's coming along fine, don't you think?"

I swallowed. "Well, Mom, it's impressive, yeah..." I shifted in my chair, suddenly very much aware of the tension in my trunks. It was rather overwhelming to discover this - this 'abundance of Mom', in so many ways.

She tensed: "You don't think it's interesting, is that it?"

I shook my head, trying to reassure her. "No, it is interesting - I certainly didn't expect you to have taken so many pictures already. And... and it works, it really works. It's just a bit unsettling for me, you know..."

"The nudity, you mean?", she smiled.

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byChrisGeyser© 23 comments/ 110952 views/ 131 favorites

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