I was asked By Electric Blue gallery in early 2009 if I would have a show of my work at their East London gallery. At the time I was playing with ideas of combining photography with illustration by creating fantastical bodies printed as posters and held up by a model. The Electric Blue show became the catalyst to bring this work together and so 'Poster Girls' was born...
The work explores the notion of fantasy versus reality, a subject which has fascinated me for some time.
Sexual attraction, I believe is almost entirely down to our fantasies, after all - when you first meet someone you don't know them, but you make up an idea about them in your mind and it's this fantasy that you are attracted to. Once you get to know them, all too often the fantasy doesn't match with the reality, I think it's why such a large proportion of relationships don't really get off the ground.
The work is playful and sexual and is about disguise, masking, dressing up and presenting a face. Fantastical illustrated bodies are held up in front of real models, and the resulting photograph is both fantasy and reality, illustration and photography. The images have a strong nod toward fetishism, lots of shiny rubber and gloopy gloss, and a sense of anonymity through the use of masks.
The Private view was amazing - so many people came despite the worst snow in London having fallen just the day before resulting in travel chaos, but we had a more than full house.
I was wondering one day why certain cliches exist,why if someone hired a stripper for a stag/hen night they would very likely end up with a girl dressed as a police woman or fireman. I started looking at themes that have become almost mainstream.
The idea of fallen innocence is of course a big stimulus in sexual fantasy, and one manifestation that crops up often in fetishism is the Sexualized Nun (often complete with black latex habit) she is considered sexy or naughty because of rule breaking and loss of innocence; guilty, illicit pleasure by breaking the rules of chastity. Of course even more common is the Naughty Nurse. perhaps because within the idea of motherly care/discipline turning sexual, again a forbidden line is crossed.
Of course the Bible would have us believe that the world of sin was born out of one moment of rule breaking in the garden of eden - the eating of a forbidden fruit and the resultant loss of virginity and innocence of Adam and Eve.
I liked the idea that I could re-create the cliché of the nun/nurse etc by corrupting Bambi, a modern day symbol of innocence and turn her 'bad' thus re-creating the fantasy in a new way."
This image is just about about texture and colour; shiny, sexy, sticky, pink.
All adjectives often associated with sexiness.
Much like pink polish this image is about tactility - black latex, pvc and leather. I wonder why are these fabrics so fetishized.
I imagined the wild uncontrolable Tigress to be restrained behind an imaginary pane of glass that is the canvas, like a caged animal. She is a representaion of our basic desires that we hold at bay for much, if not all of the time.
This is a depiction of the female as a Gorgon - Sometimes seen as a symbol of the dangerous fascination exerted by woman, with her deadly stare and mysterious hair, or by classical scholars as a symbol of divine femininity.
Possibly derived from an actual ritual mask, it is thought that the head of Medusa was used in early societies to keep men at a safe distance from sacred ceremonies and mysteries reserved for women. The fetish of the dominant, aggressive female who has become goddess-like in her being is as often repeated as the submissive or corrupted innocent
This was the first image I made, before I really had a notion of what the work was gonna be all about. She originally had the head of my orange and black vax hoover.. something about sucking I guess!? but no, seriously it was actually cos I thought it would look cool, but it just looked weird so i used some ink blobs I had instead. Once applied she happened to get a kind of warped mickey mouse look which I though was quite subversive and gave me a lot of ideas...