Buried beneath this tree at TOM House in Echo Park, Los Angeles, CA is a cast bronze ‘relic’ from my ongoing Sebastian series. To create an ancient looking blue/green (known as verdigris) patina, please urinate on this spot. The uric acid in the urine reacts with the metal, prematurely aging it. Thank you for your contribution.
There’s been some great press so far for Adults Only, the group exhibition I’m showing my 2007 Cumfaces series in that opened January 18th at Galerie Biesenbach in Cologne, Germany and runs through March 9th. Check below for articles from Liberation (French), Art Critique (French), and Kölnische Rundschau newspaper (German).
From delicate to hard, from painting, drawing and collage to photography and sculpture to installation, the works that are shown in ADULTS ONLY pick up and depict themes from erotic to pornographic.
The focus of ADULTS ONLY, the first group exhibition at Biesenbach Gallery in 2019, is a subject that could hardly be more human: the sensual body that has always fascinated its viewers. The artistic composition of the artworks reflects abysses and highlights of human sexuality and offers a journey through the current art scene, whose protagonists dedicate themselves in their presented works to the subject of sex.
Time and time again, the human body and its various ways of erotizing were and are being rediscovered and specifically charged for art. It was not only postmodernism that drew on Greek high art and Roman antiquity with its dramatic erotic motifs.
The works of our 10 contemporary artists in ADULTS ONLY tell a story of sex and sensuality in the history of human culture. The exhibition, which does not shy away from potentially objectionable footage, also assumes a certain explosiveness.
Sometimes the body is self-sufficient, resting, sometimes it is intertwined in the act of love, at times it even flares itself up to masturbation. The series “Cumfaces” by British photographer and filmmaker Stuart Sandford (*1978, lives and works in Los Angeles and London) shows exactly this: faces of young men at the moment of the self-induced climax.
Pornographic films serve French artist Rebecca Bournigault (*1970 in Colmar, lives and works in Paris) as a model for her sexually explicit watercolours, in which she portrays women – released from the original film setting – and thus stimulates reflection on the exploitation of the female body today.
With his photo series "STOFF, HAUT, BLICK" (“FABRIC, SKIN, GAZE”), Cologne-based artist Roland Schappert (*1965) takes up motifs from porn magazines and zooms almost voyeuristically in on detailed boundaries between garments and bodies. This suggests more or less clear individual moments and social situations. His photographs were originally shown in an exhibition project together with works by Stefan Römer at high-end fashion store città di bologna in Cologne in 1998. Digitalised/remastered for our “Adults Only” exhibition, Schappert’s photographs are reinterpreted for the first time as lightfast prints on Alu Dibond (edition of 8 copies each). In addition and in line with the exhibition’s midissage on 16 February, at 6 pm, the artist will present a performance of his own "SEXROMAN", a novel also published in 1998.
Back to the ancient Greek origin of the term "pornography" - derived and composed of πόρνη (pórnē, "prostitute") and γράφειν (gráphein, "write") - brings us Hamburg-based artist Viviane Gernaert (*1976 in Munich) with her interpretation of a “Kober” window: Only the prostitute is missing from her re-enactment of a brothel in the window of the gallery. Furthermore, her graphite drawings, based on David Lynch’s “Blue Velvet”, explore a somewhat different kind of voyeurism than her “Kober” window.
Voyeurism plays a major role in the work of Dutch painter Jans Muskee(*1961 in Nieuw-Amsterdam, lives and works in Groningen). His oil pastels on paper show scenes, all life-size and lifelike, with adults only – or for adults only – who are entangled in bizarre constellations. Muskee ironically exposes the uptight concept of a morally intact suburb as a world of Sodom and Gomorrah.
The conservative sexual fantasies of the 1950s are targeted by German sculptor and painter Beate Höing (*1966, lives and works in Coesfeld). The artist uses nude nymph figures made of porcelain in her fragile sculptures of clay and other findings from porcelain and appropriates their delicate and naive eroticism in several firing processes.
Parisian artist Julien Comte-Gaz (*1987 in Australia) uses old (soft) pornographic photographs – sometimes dating back as far as to the 1920’s – and robs them of their "offensiveness" by delicately applied dot-drawings, pixel-like collages or meticulous lasercuts (as for example in his reappropriated Bunnies from the Playboys of the 1970/80s), therefore covering all sexual matters or simply cutting them out.
The tender-harmless, playful eroticism that emanates from Höing's nymphs and also shows through in Comte-Gaz's works, stands in stark contrast to Matt Lambert's sometimes very explicit photographs and films that have nothing in common with obsolete moral concepts. His work is an often hard-core, sex-infused and unapologetic celebration of gay sexuality. The Berlin-based artist (*1983 in Los Angeles), who has also worked for nearly all major fashion and lifestyle magazines, is best known for his LGBT community-related work. Lambert prefers to work with real porn actors and deals with topics such as youth and intimacy.
Also queer related is American Tom Bianchi’s photographic work, who devotes himself entirely to the act of men in his work. In more than 20 books with photographs, poems and essays already published, experiences of homosexual men are treated. The Polaroid series shown in ADULTS ONLY was originally created between 1975-83 (Bianchi was born in 1945, he lives and works in Palm Springs) and pays homage to the carefree, pre-AIDS lifestyle of the gay community at Fire Island Pines, Long Island, NY.
In his work, British photographer Bob Carlos Clarke, who died in 2006 and is also known as the British Helmut Newton, dedicates himself to the nude act as well, but this time around the female one. Clarke realizes erotic (male) fantasies and works with models, actresses and stars (the exhibition shows, for example, Academy Award winner Rachel Weizs in “For Dolls That Do Dishes”). His work, published in countless books and magazines, is synonymous with glamour, fetish and women's bodies.
I made this short film earlier in the year, a love letter to the place and the people of Tom of Finland Foundation, my home in Los Angeles for the past three years.
Thanks to everyone that came out to the opening night of Secret Gay Box at TOM House Friday night! Please find below a selection of installation shots of the works. The exhibition runs (by appointment only) until November 12th.
The second iteration of Secret Gay Box curated by John Wolf opens this Friday 12th October 6-9pm at the Tom of Finland Foundation and runs until November 12th. Delighted to once again be amongst some amazing artists. More info below.
“John Wolf Fine Art is both humbled and pleased to present ‘Secret Gay Box’ at the Tom of Finland Foundation. This show is not only incredibly personal to the curator, John Wolf, but also speaks to the secrecy of Tom of Finland’s early career in which homophobic censorship codes kept the artist’s work out of circulation.
Like Tracey Emin's My Bed , this ‘Secret Gay Box’ will encapsulate a moment in the life of an individual but rather than doing this through a single object or work, it will use a variety of works in different mediums from different times to create the ethos of adolescent formation; a time characterized by flux and uncertainty. It will be a powerful comment on the construction of identity through collected, foraged, sometimes fiercely protected influences.
The essence of Tom of Finland's practice began in a similar and all-too-familiar closeted secret world. His identity hidden from his community and his artwork as self expression hidden in a box.
This is how the show's curator, John Wolf, describes his childhood: being gay was a sin and a flaw, something only Jesus could change. So as a child, the ability to read and explore his nascent sexuality was not only fearful but had to be hidden in a secret gay box.
This exhibition will revive that box in a way that will be both personal and visceral for Wolf himself, and for the viewer.
The ability to have a private world, and to collect, is ultimately what led Wolf to art world.”
There’s a six-page feature on me and my work in the Fall issue of LALA Magazine. I also shot some photographs (including one of the covers) of artist Simon Haas for a feature on his work for the same issue too which is out now.
YOU ARE INVITED TO
BOYS! BOYS! BOYS!
Stuart Sandford, Cumfaces #1, 2007
Tamara Beckwith Veroni & Ghislain Pascal of The Little Black Gallery, The Hospital Club & Paddle8 invite you to the launch of
BOYS! BOYS! BOYS!
THE HOSPITAL CLUB
24 Endell Street, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9HQ
THURSDAY 27 SEPTEMBER 6-8PM
An exhibition of photographs presented by The Little Black Gallery & Paddle8
to coincide with the launch of the Paddle8 auction
MORE BOYS! BOYS! BOYS!
+ the first BOYS! BOYS! BOYS! book, foreword by David Furnish, all proceeds to the Elton John AIDS Foundation - preorder now
A digital version of a new large-scale statue (work in progress) created using a combination of state-of-the-art 3D scanning technologies and traditional casting methods. Further small-scale versions exist in bronze, stainless steel, and Carrara marble. The Ouroboros is an ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon eating its own tail. The name originates from within Greek language; (oura) meaning "tail" and (boros) meaning "eating", thus "he who eats the tail". The Ouroboros represents the perpetual cyclic renewal of life and infinity, the concept of eternity and the eternal return, and represents the cycle of life, death and rebirth, leading to immortality, as in the Phoenix. The current mathematical symbol for infinity - may be derived from a variant on the classic Ouroboros with the snake looped once before eating its own tail.
Available exclusively via seditionart.com
My Gay Eye – Homage to Tom Of Finland / Folsom Special
Curator: Rinaldo Hopf
Preview opening: Friday 17th August 2018 7pm
Duration: 17th August - 11th September 2018
FOLSOM Special event: Saturday 8th September 6-10pm Location: The Ballery, Nollendorfstraße 11-12, 10777 Berlin
From the 17th of August, in time for the Folsom Fetish Fair in Berlin, The Ballery in Schöneberg, Berlin is showing in an exhibition and book presentation "My Gay Eye - Homage to Tom of Finland". The exhibition includes original Tom of Finland drawings as well as a selection of the artworks of the current anthology of the same name.
Tom of Finland (Touko Laaksonen, 1920-1991) has created a fascinating gay world with his iconographic drawings. This special volume of the series "My gay eye" presents largely unknown pages of Tom of Finland's work, such as Facsimiles of leaves from his scrapbooks, which illustrate his working process, as well as his effect on subsequent artist generations. In addition, the diverse work of the Tom of Finland Foundation is presented. For the first time, selected treasures from their extensive collection of gay art are published, probably the largest of its kind in the world. Several original drawings and prints from this collection are now being presented in Berlin.
Durk Dehner was the life partner Tom of Finland and together with him founded the Foundation, which he has been directing ever since. It is thanks to his tireless work that Tom's works are represented in numerous museums today and are part of the global pop culture
Curator Durk Dehner on 10 erotic artworks inspired by Tom of Finland (in English): https://hornet.com/stories/my-gay-eye-tom-of-finland-two/
Curator and artist Rinaldo Hopf, was a resident artist at the Tom of Finland Foundation in 2017. As an artist he is represented by The Ballery in Berlin.
The Ballery is an art gallery and project space in the neighbourhood of Schöneberg in Berlin. Since opening in 2014, it has aimed to present a balanced cross section of society in a dynamic format that picks up a variety of artistic approaches. The Ballery places a strong focus on presenting perspectives that support diversity and equality within the community. – https://www.theballery.com
Tom of Finland - Johnny Alexandre Abbate - Aries - Henning von Berg - Rick Castro - Greg Day - Norman Deigan - Domino - Etienne - Gorilla - Florian Hetz - Rinaldo Hopf - The Hun - Nigel Ken - Michael Kirwan - Patrick Lee - Link - Yu-liang Liu - Minoru - Sven Oliver - Palanca - Stuart Sandford
Special guest artist: DJ Hell
Contact for press and interview requests: Simon Williams l Nollendorfstrasse 12, 10777 Berlin Tel: +49 (0)30/2100 3124 l Cell: +49 (0)175 5597977 l Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you to everyone who came out to the opening of Pictures on Thursday night. It was a small but very appreciative crowd. I'm very happy with how the show turned out, especially as it was my first time exhibiting large archival pigment prints from Polaroids. Also a big thank you to my hosts and all at Queer/Bar. The exhibition runs though the end of October and select works from the exhibition are available through my online store.
Pictures is an exhibition of twenty Polaroid works shot between 2014 and 2017 of friends, lovers, spaces, and places. Having predominantly worked with 35mm film up until then, I had the opportunity of doing a residency at the Tom of Finland Foundation in Los Angeles, and Polaroid seemed like the perfect medium to record my time at that very unique space. I’ve been using it ever since and it’s the immediacy and intimacy inherent within Polaroid that keeps me coming back for more. Other projects, especially my sculptural and moving image works, can take many months or even years to complete, but a perfect Polaroid can be made in an instant.
The title is a nod to Robert Mapplethorpe’s dual exhibition of the same name that took place in 1977 in New York City. In one space Mapplethorpe presented portraits, flowers, and still life’s, in the second space, his fiercely sexual hardcore S/M works. It wasn’t until later in his career that he was able to show his full body of work presented together as he originally intended. Similarly, with this work, I’m not shying away from depictions of overt queer sexuality but putting it directly in the spotlight by presenting it to the world unabashed, uncensored, and in all its glory.
For those unable to attend, a selection of works from the exhibition are available to purchase for a limited time via my online store.
Thursday August 16th - 6-8pm
Queer/Bar, 1518, 11th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122
The Violators, a group exhibition curated by artist Gio Black Peter at Studio UZI, Brooklyn, New York, July 27th through August 13th 2018. Opening reception July 27th, 8pm. Featuring the work of Alex La Cruz, Anne Lamb, Ari Fraser, Benjamin Ackerman, Bruce LaBruce, Damien Blottiere, Gio Black Peter, Joseph Wolfgang Ohlert, Natasha Gornik, Oliver Sarley, Paco Y Manolo, Ruben Esparza, Slava Mogutin, Stuart Sandford, Timothy Hull.
Letter from Gio Black Peter
Your posts have been deleted.
Your accounts have been disabled.
What kind of content posted on social media warrants having your account deactivated? Who determines genitalia too offensive for the general public to view while simultaneously approving images of let’s say, the Trump clan propping up the head of an elephant that they just murdered? At what point did we as a society decide that images of violence are acceptable but nudity and sexuality should be shunned? When people ask me what I’ve posted to merit having my account deactivated my answer is always the same; I post images of my work which is a reflection of my life-just like everybody else. To date I’ve had 10 instagram accounts ( it’s why there is an x at the end of my instaname), 15 Facebooks, 2 youtubes and 4 vimeos. One account was deleted for posting a photo of 2 topless friends sunbathing. That same summer I was invited to my friend’s beach house where I shot a video of myself enjoying his outdoor shower. There went another account. On one occasion I posted a selfie with my bare ass. My fame hungry left testicle happened to also make an appearance and that was too much for the social media custodians. Butts are ok but ballsacks a big no-no. Recently my friend and fellow “Violator” artist *Slava Mogutin posted a photo of himself at an exhibition standing in front of a nude photograph only to have it deleted seconds later. I have artist friends from around the world, Queers and non Queers who are constantly targeted by censorship on social media. Because Queer voices and lives are less likely to be represented in mainstream media outlets, social media often provides those on the fringes of society with a vital outlet, a place to tell their stories. Images are important. It is why the advertising industry is worth billions. It is the reason why it is important to see multiple ethnicities, multiple sexualities and all genders portrayed in magazines, on the runway, in films and in our social landscape. When one group is excluded from a platform where everyone else has a presence, it is discrimination. Censorship is a form of discrimination. Nothing is more clearly an indication of this than the message you receive when a post or account is disabled. For example when Instagram deletes your post the message you receive states: "We removed your post because it doesn’t follow our community guidelines. If you violate our guidelines again, your account may be restricted or disabled.“ That is how The Violators group exhibition was born. I wanted to celebrate artists from "my community” and give a platform to the images that were an expression of their lives. Images which were deemed “too offensive”. Inspired by the guerrilla artists from New York City’s 80’s downtown scene (David Wojnarowicz, Kenny Scharf, Diane Arbus and Jean-Michel Basquiat to name a few) the exhibition will take place in my show studio. In the words of of Aretha Franklin and Annie Lennox “Sisters are doin it for themselves”.
- Gio Black Peter , NYC 2018
* see Slava’s open letter to Mark Zuckerberg on The Huffington post: The Censorship Monster
Take a look below for a selection of features and reviews of the 3rd edition of the Queer Biennial. Oh and planning begins soon for the 2020 edition so watch this space.
I'm one of 5 LGBTQ+ artists you need to know (who knew?!?). Link the image below for full article.
I'm one of the artists taking part in the next Paddle 8 auction curated by Ghislain Pascal of the London-based Little Black Gallery. Boys! Boys! Boys! Vol II - Pride is currently previewing and goes live June 14th and features the work of both established and emerging artists including Tom Bianchi, Marian Vivanco, Greg Gorman, Florian Hetz, and Matthew Lambert, amongst others. Happy bidding!
Featuring over 100 artist from more than 20 countries, the Queer Biennial 2018 is an international survey focusing on the current moments in LGBTQ art and culture that showcases emerging, mid-career, and established artists. Featured work includes installation, film, live performance, and historical documentation. Artists included do not shy away from sexuality, identity, the body, and all around queerness. As independent curators/artists, we champion and challenge artists of all disciplines to temporarily step away from the white-box systems and explore new spaces in an unfiltered and organic fashion. Every exhibition or event is carefully researched and realized with an invited list of artists and curators from around the globe.
The Queer Biennial began in 2014 and is firmly planted here in Los Angeles with venues that have included: Coagula Curatorial, Industry Gallery/Los Angeles, with satellite installations and performances that took place at the Tom of Finland Foundation, Antebellum Gallery, Please Do Not Enter, LACA, Pieter Performance Space, PAM, among others. Lectures and performances were held at the Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. Additionally, Hotel Gaythering hosted satellite events at Miami Art Basel.
A Night in Alexander is a browser-based group exhibition of works documented at Alexander Sauna, situated in the gay/club district of Gazi in Athens, Greece.
ANNE UDDENBERG, DREW LINT, FRITZ MARLON SCHIFFERS, GREGORY BLUNT, JULIAN-JAKOB KNEER, KARIM BOUMJIMAR, KAROL RADZISZEWSKI, LUKAS HOFMANN AND HARA SHAKO KIRI, MARIA METSALU, METASITU, NBDBKP, PAUL-ALEXANDRE ISLAS, STUART SANDFORD, YOUNG BOY DANCING GROUP, ZUZANNA RATAJCZYK
Concept and curation: GREGORY BLUNT
Text: MOHAMMAD SALEMY
Photography: FELIX PÖTZSCH
Photo editing, CG effects and website: GREGORY BLUNT
With special thanks to Felix Pötzsch, Manuel Scheiwiller, Zuzanna Ratajczyk, Alexandra Koumantaki and Dimitris Gketsis, as well as Konstantinos Adamopolous and the accommodating staff at Alexander Sauna.
As a previous artist-in-residence at the Tom of Finland Foundation here in Los Angeles, I had the privilege of being interviewed, alongside a handful of other artists and those connected with ToFF, for the It Gets Better Project about Tom's life and work and his influence on younger artists and those in the LGBTQ+ community as whole. Take a look at the video below.