From eroticism to extinction, the world’s most intriguing collection of art calendars.
“ For a decade, it has become our hallmark to combine opposites: the beautiful, naked body of women with the perfect matter of exclusive coffins. Eros with Tanatos.”
So says the introduction to the 2019 edition of the Lindner Calendar, one of the most provocatively erotic and artistic corporate calendars you’ll ever see. While there has long been a tradition (now rapidly dying in a furiously Woke culture, with businesses terrified of being found on the wrong side of history) of unlikely businesses building a reputation with sexy calendars – Pirelli being the most obvious, the Lindner Calendar still stands out for two reasons. One is the extraordinary artistry involved – these are often far more than simply photos of semi-naked girls, instead playing with fascinating visual themes and narratives. The other is rather more obvious. We don’t usually expect coffin makers to be so upfront. Coffins are not, for most people, very sexy.
And Lindner don’t beat around the bush when it comes to product placement. Their coffins are right there in the photos. As erotic as the images might be, there is never an attempt to get away from the central purpose of the product. Deah, like sex, is, of course, a taboo for many – neither is the sort of thing that we are supposed to discuss over dinner. But we’re living in an age where death is now omnipresent, figures reported nightly on the news in some grim role call. Lindner’s calendars have never felt so relevant.
To make this all the more revolutionary, Lindner is a Polish company, and the catholic church that dominates that country tend to frown upon both sex and the trivialisation of death. In 2014, the Polish catholic church sniffily commented that “human death should be treated with solemnity and not mixed up with sex.” But death is a grim enough reality as it is – perhaps we should be less uptight about it, and allow the life-affirming, liberating joys of sex to free us from the misery of the fact that we are all slowly marching towards the grave. Enjoy life and its pleasures while you can.
Lindner owner commented to the Daily Mail that the calendars aim to celebrate “the beauty of Polish girls and the beauty of our coffins. So much work goes into our coffins that are only seen for a few moments at the funeral. We wanted to show that a coffin shouldn’t be a sacred object. It isn’t a religious symbol.” And indeed, the calendars hint at other uses for these carefully crafted items – bookshelves, drinks cabinets, coffee tables and more. Why not?
We can see the development of the calendars over the years, starting out in 2010 as unremarkable collections of attractive young women in skimpy outfits and then slowly developing, both in themes and explicitness. There is nothing coy about the Lindner calendars after the first couple of years; perhaps the idea of pussy-footing around nudity in a calendar that is promoting coffins seemed pointless. The images sometimes make that direct connection with death – sexy grim reapers, images that mix blood and nudity, moments of horror. It’s all a world away from any other corporate or sexy calendar, and unsurprisingly, they are now seen more as collectable works of art than mere guides to which day of the week it is. Long may they continue.