The idea behind Complicit was to talk about the three aspects I can see that define “sex” in modern society: sexism, sexuality, and “sexualism,” or our bizarre and worrisome urge to demand that everything be sexier, and to put that pressure on society as a whole, including youths and other pre-sexual humans.
The end result is a triptych piece, done on three pieces of salvaged particle board. The surfaces were developed slowly over several weeks using many layers of thin wash. Often, the wash was applied only to two of the three boards and allowed to drip or run onto the third, allowing the surfaces to be involved in the development of each other. The layers are thin and in many places reveal a history going all the way back to the initial priming layer. Near the end, a series of notes were written in paint stick on each board, covering ideas related to each of the three boards (for example, “sexism” had notes such as “enlightened feminism,” “patriarchy,” and “embedded sexism”) to help me as I planned the iconography. These texts were partially melted back into the wash layer, leaving them fragmented and muddied (much, I fear, like actual discussions of human sexuality in Western society.) The final icons are simplified for visual impact, and rely on the backing surface to provide depth to their messages.
From left to right: sexism, sexuality, sexualism.
This piece will make its debut at ORANJE next month. Come see it in person.
Yes. Those’re my toes there. No, they don’t come with the piece, sorry. I needses them.