Fakir Musafar

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Fakir Musafar
Musafar in 1982
Roland Loomis

(1930-08-10)August 10, 1930
DiedAugust 1, 2018(2018-08-01) (aged 87)
Spouse(s)Cléo Dubois

Roland Loomis (August 10, 1930 – August 1, 2018[1]), known professionally as Fakir Musafar, was an American performance artist and early proponent of the modern primitive movement.[2] He experimented with and taught body modification techniques such as body piercing, tightlacing, scarification, tattooing and flesh hook suspension. He was involved in the BDSM, kink and fetish communities.

Early life[edit]

At age four Musafar claimed to have experienced dreams of past lives.[3] He reports having given himself his first body piercing when he was twelve. Based on his viewing of anthropological works he first performed a flesh hook suspension in 1966 or 1967.[4] As an adult he gave himself the name "Fakir Musafar".[4]


He was an extra 'Man in hotel room' in "Die Jungfrauen Maschine" (The Virgin Machine) in 1988[5] and in 1991 he appeared in "My Father Is Coming" as Fakir.[6]

Musafar documented his experiences in writing about and teaching others "body play". In the early 1990s, he appeared in mainstream media shows like NBC's Faith Daniels Show, CBS's People Are Talking, CNN's Earth Matters and Discovery Channel's (Beyond Bizarre). In 1998 he produced documentary segments for London Weekend Television's The South Bank Show and Playboy TV's Sexcetera. In 2000, 2001 and 2003 he appeared in documentaries for The Learning Channel (Human Canvas Part I and Part II), TBS, FX, the Discovery Channel, and the 2001 documentary film Modern Tribalism. In 2004 he became a spokesperson for the National Geographic Channel's series, Taboo and appeared on the Travel Channel's "Eye of the Beholder" series hosted by Serena Yang.

His writing and photography was published in Theater Journal, Bizarre magazine (fetish and SM exploration), Skin Two and Piercing Fan International Quarterly. He lectured and performed at London's Institute of Contemporary Arts (Rapture Series, 1995); Copenhagen's International Seminar on BODY:Ritual-Manipulation (1995) and Lisbon, Portugal's Festival Atlantico (1997). His photographic art was recently exhibited at the Fahey/Klein Gallery in Los Angeles.

In 1999, his performance group performed "Metamorphosis" at the Los Angeles Fetish Ball as well as for close friend Annie Sprinkle's Benefit Show at the Cowell Theater in San Francisco after her houseboat and archives were destroyed by fire.

He was the founder and director of the Fakir Intensives - training workshops on body piercing and branding in San Francisco, the first in America.[7]

Musafar was featured in Modern Primitives, published by RE/Search, and in the full-length documentary Dances Sacred and Profane.[8][9] He also appears in the movie Modify and Charles Gatewood's documentary, Dances Sacred and Profane.

Illness and death[edit]

In May 2018, Musafar announced on his website that he was suffering from terminal lung cancer.[10] He died on the morning of 1 August 2018.[11] His death was initially announced in a public Facebook post by his wife Cléo Dubois,[12] and later confirmed by an obituary in Artforum.[1]


  • Fakir Musafar: Spirit + Flesh, Arena Editions, 2004, ISBN 1-892041-57-X

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Fakir Musafar (1930–2018)". ArtForum. 2 August 2018. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Voices from the Edge (1997), David Jay Brown & Rebecca McCLen Novick
  4. ^ a b Vale, V. and Andrea Juno (1989) Modern Primitives. RE/Search, San Francisco. ISBN 978-0-940642-14-0
  5. ^ "Die Jungfrauen Maschine (1988)". imdb.com. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
  6. ^ "My Father Is Coming (1991)". imdb.com/. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  7. ^ Voices from the Edge (1997), David Jay Brown & Rebecca McCLen Novick
  8. ^ modern primitives by Scott Treleaven — October 18, 2000
  9. ^ "Dances Sacred and Profane".
  10. ^ "Farewell from Fakir". www.fakir.org. Retrieved 2018-08-03.
  11. ^ Slotnik, D. E., "Fakir Musafar, Whose ‘Body Play’ Went to Extremes, Dies at 87", The New York Times, Aug 13, 2018.
  12. ^ Cleo Dubois (1 August 2018). "Facebook photo post". Facebook. Retrieved 3 August 2018.


External links[edit]