Robert K. Bishop (1945–1991) was an American bondage artist, often credited as The Bishop or simply Bishop. Born in Michigan, he has been compared with John Willie and described as the "Rembrandt of bondage art".
Most of Bishop's art appeared in magazines and catalogues from 1971 to the 1980s. By the mid-1990s, Bishop's art had long been out of print. The originals had largely been lost or destroyed. Even a partial reprinting in 1992–1993 was based on previously published copies.
Hunter Rose, in 1995 to 1996, made scans from his own personal magazine collection and materials loaned to him by many others. His set of 1254 images, which are believed to be the complete collection of all available Bishop art, were regularly posted to usenet newsgroups so that Bishop's work could be preserved and appreciated.
Bishop's work has been published extensively in bondage magazines, especially those of Centurions Publications, Harmony Concepts Inc. and the bondage publisher House of Milan. His work was known for being very detailed and vivid.
His main theme was extremely tight and/or reinforced bondage that showed its subjects straining against their restraints. The bondage depicted often involved elaborate harnesses and gags designed by Bishop.
Although almost all of his work depicted women in bondage, he also produced some series of female dominant images, and a few male bondage images, some of which are now displayed at the Leather Archives and Museum in Chicago.
Bishop also produced the Fanni Hall series of damsel-in-distress bondage comics.
In addition to his many illustrations in bondage magazines, his art was showcased in a number of dedicated magazines published by House of Milan and Lyndon Distributors Limited.
Bishop's illustrations were mostly in black and white using pen and ink, with spot use of airbrushing for shading. His work makes much play with the contrast between pale skin and black restraints and latex garments, and with the use of shading to imply shiny rubber textures and musculature. His colour illustrations were mostly for magazine covers, due to the economic constraints of bondage magazine production. He also drew in a softer pencil style, with subtle use of pencil shading. Materials for original works included pencil on vellum and inks on illustration board.
Death and legacy
He committed suicide at the age of 46. His work has been extensively circulated on the Internet, and originals of his pictures are now collectors' items.
- Centurian Bondage (his earliest work of art late 1970's)
- Bishop On Bondage (series of magazines) (House of Milan, 1984)
- Bishop: The Art of Bondage (series of magazines) (Lyndon Distributors Limited, 1993)