‘Getting changed’ is an ongoing series of small ink paintings that I began in December 2020. The theme focuses on sexual freedom, sexuality, masculine archetypes and queer culture, drawing on several artists I am highly influenced by.

 

Each piece has been hand-painted with black Indian Ink and is roughly 14 x 14 cm. Each piece is £25.00 and postage to the UK is free, please send enquiries to artyoliver94@gmail.com.

I am also accepting commissions. 

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Exploring the homoerotic bounds of masculinity and stereotypes, that macho expectation, the heteronormative, that saying 'give her one from me son' that makes my stomach turn. These one liner's I heard when i was a kid, passed down that I'd never pass on... One of the inspirations for this piece is Tom of Finland. Tom of Finland started drawing men in the 1940s a time when there was no outwardly gay culture in Finland. He was 'robbing straight homophobic culture of its most virile and masculine archetypes and recasting them as unapologetic, self-aware, proud enthusiasts of gay sex'. 

Bananas have several connotations, from slapstick comedy to phallic references. It's the penis of all fruits, from it's foreskin peel to its soft texture etc. (enough to put you off bananas?) This piece is a little jazzed up, the bananas are electric blue a punch colour, bright and bold against the black and white combat boots. 

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Locked in, refers to the padlock, chain and harness. The image of a padlock in contemporary society has come to be known as more than just an image of security. For me, a padlock conjures up an image of Ponts des Arts in Paris, a bridge filled with thousands of padlocks/ love locks, the initials of lovers engraved on the lock, an image of a couple throwing a key into the Seine below, the love lock, attached to the bridge forever, the key lost. The origin of this tradition started in Vrnjačka Banja, a small town in Serbia just before the first word war. The women of the town hoped they could bind their paramours (who were serving in the military), to home by writing their names and their lovers names on the padlocks. It’s a deeply romantic notion and in this piece its sits above the harness, which has its own historical connotations, conjuring up images of historical battles and references to queer culture, bondage-wear, fetish, pain and pleasure. Is it meant to titillate? Is it okay if it does? Or is not meant to titillate? Is it okay if it doesn’t? Is it romantic? Can it be romantic? These are all questions I explored when I was creating this piece. 

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Feeling Christmassy I created this pieces, inspired by Paul McCarthy's 'Tree', which was installed in front of the Palace Vendome in 2014. Wrapped up in a pattern of Santa's and plum coloured "Ho Ho Ho's" - it's a gift. I think back to the arguments that led to the vandalisation and removal of McCarthy's work from the palace, it was a Christmas Tree; it also resembled a 79ft/ 24 meter-tall butt plug. At the crux it's what you make of it you dirty minded so and so. 

Inspired by Robert Mappelthorpe's aesthetic and his photography of flora this is a study of his work 'Poppy' in Indian Ink. Mappelthorpe was one of the first artists I was introduced to and I remember as a kid flicking through the pages of a copy of 'Mappelthorpe' published by Electa in 1992. I was in awe of the fragile nature, intricate shapes and pattens nature created that Mappelthorpe captured. Dangerous, beautiful, seductive monochrome, the delicate flowers pop against the softly lit backdrops. 

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‘As I was saying, I’m a woman and can’t be taken for granted. Life’s a bitch now so am I’. This is one of my favourite lines from Batman Returns, spoken by Cat Woman and performed by Michelle Pfeiffer. Batman has always seemed incredibly camp and literal, for instance Batman dresses like a bat, he dons a black armoured suit that makes him look like a beef cake, leaving little to the imagination; Cat Woman dresses like a dominatrix, she goes from shy self-flagellating receptionist to donning head to toe leather, a whip and claws, a badass confident cat. Batman Returns is a glimpse into a darker world where the villains and even superheroes appear slightly unhinged. I remember when I first watched Batman Returns having a crush on Michelle Pfeiffer – back flipping her way down the street before her explosive reveal – MEOW!

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The title -|- Leather Cross -|- felt like an appropriate name for this piece. Religion played a large role at the beginning of my life, going to a primary school where we would sing hymns every morning and play out the nativity at Christmas, whilst at the same time going to Mosque, celebrating Eid, growing up learning about Ramadan and the Quran. Being part of these worlds was odd as a child. I felt torn between these two, split down the middle. I didn’t know anyone besides me and my brother’s that were in the in-between and the experience left its own footprint on us.

 

It seems fitting to me that this piece should feature a crucifix, the crucifix image is a piece of religious iconography that has been captured time and time again by masters of their crafts, in statues, paintings and pop icons. When I see a crucifix, I see one of two images and one of those images is George Michael. Here is an image of an individual whose back is turned, facing away from the viewer, a crucifix dons his leather jacket, a baton by his waist, lapels up, he’s off to have a good night!

More works  |  Coming soon

More works  |  Coming soon

More works   |  Coming soon

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More work   |  Coming soon