Nau mai, haere mai, welcome to EyeContact. You are invited to respond to reviews and contribute to discussion by registering to participate.

JH

Paterson at Gow Langsford

AA
View Discussion

While it is indisputable that our culture is indeed homophobic, making a connection between the murdered victims of gay bashing and these animal portraits is bizarre - to put it kindly.

Auckland


Reuben Paterson

Dear Beauty, Dear Beast


24 February - 20 March 2010

The ten glitter paintings by Reuben Paterson currently on show at Gow Langsford feature several portraits of big cats such as lions, tigers and panthers - along with some carpet-like square paintings and the occasional design loaded with floral motifs.

The works seems to reference kitsch, not only sentimental animal portraits that are painted but also woven rugs and towels. However, in contrast, the titles allude to something quite different - the animal-like cravings of sexual desire, with loaded titles such as (obviously) The Passion, The Nether Regions, Estrous, The Bed’s Spread of Provocation and The Erotic Champions of The World.

With the glitter as a ‘queer ‘signifier one would assume this references homo horniness, more than hetero. They celebrate the frenzied bodily frictions of same sex carnality. Danger and violence, by implication, is part of that.

That is of course if you emphasise the titles. Otherwise the works are just technically accomplished feline portraits, pitched to those who love the big ferocious carnivores of Africa or India. And maybe the tropes in the titles are a bit heavy-handed.

Certainly in the Gow Langsford statement for the show the claim that “Paterson views these works, in part, as a personal homage to the victims of murder cases which have successfully used the provocation or “gay panic” defense. The work suggests that in the same way that we have an underlying culture of racism, there is also an underlying culture of homophobia.”

Paterson, on radio for example, is normally an immensely gifted artist interviewee - one extremely eloquent and articulate. Here though, we have the worst kind of inane motor-mouthed rhetoric. While it is indisputable that our culture is indeed homophobic, making a connection between the murdered victims of gay bashing and these animal portraits is bizarre - to put it kindly. The signals are very confusing - almost a celebration of homophobic violence rather than a condemnation.

With a title of Dear Beauty, Dear Beast, go figure.

 

Print | Facebook | Twitter | Email

 

Recent Posts by John Hurrell

JH
Installation of Contemporary Wood-Carved Netsuke at Te Uru. Toured by The Japan Foundation. Photo by Sam Hartnett

Intricately Carved Netsuke

TE URU

Titirangi

 

Assorted Japanese artisans and artists
Contemporary Wood-Carved Netsuke

27 June - 2 August 2020

JH
Installation shot (detail) of Shaun Thomas McGill's 'Durham Street West [Men’s Convenience]' 2020 at  Papatūnga. Photo: Courtesy of Papatūnga.

Debut of New Parnell Project Space

PAPATŪNGA

Auckland

 

Shaun Thomas McGill
Durham St West [Men’s Convenience]


18 July - 30 July 2020

JH
An image of Tom and his keeper.

Elephant Empathy

RM

Auckland

 

Matilda Fraser
His trunk for a hand, and his foot for a scythe

 

8 July - 25 July 2020

JH
(UN)Registered Savages of Aotearoa, Hair to Stay, 2019, installation view, eight photographs of ulu cavu in British collections. Photo by Sam Hartnett

Fijian Wigs and Masks

TE TUHI CENTRE FOR THE ARTS

Pakuranga

 

(UN)Registered Savages of Aotearoa (Daren Kamali & Ole Maiava)
Mata Makawa - Mata Vou



23 May - 16 August 2020