BOYS FROM THE INTERNET

ARTIST STATEMENT:

There is lot of visual noise in navigating contemporary queer culture.

My practice concerns itself with an ‘artist-as-anthropologist’ study. Within this framework, I have attempted to not only contemplate the semiotic value of symbols and iconography of modern tech-based avatar interactions, but also to represent a series of ‘self portrait’ of sorts - using the ‘other’ as a study for the illustrations.

What are the value of our connections and communications with each other at the moment? What do these interactions mean to one-another and how do they shape our visual landscape as gay men?

“BOYS FROM THE INTERNET” Zine cover


‘A photo of my tongue up your ass’.
“The words staring back at me. It’s almost as if the colourful text piece is the photo, as I push sexual imagery out of my head, trying to concentrate on writing.

Queer culture, technology, Grindr, politics, heteronormativity, fucking, drawing. Can you see it too? The work is a self-portrait. A sweat, blood, tears and cum-filled portrait.

Regardless of the minimalist approach, the tense work captures the complexity of the artist’s self-identity in a world yet to reject traditional gender identities, but does so in a context in which the visual noise of contemporary queer culture is not clearly defined.

A photo of my tongue up your ass.

The drawings are fragile. Sort of like the way I feel when looking at them. The naïve, gestural line-work could be representative of these ‘boys from the internet’. Innocent, unsophisticated, artless, ingenuous, inexperienced, guileless, unworldly, childlike, trusting, dewy-eyed, unaffected, born yesterday, deceivable, dupable, immature, callow, raw, as green as grass, ignorant. Wet behind the ears.

A photo of my tongue up your ass.

An online experience investigating concepts of men materializing from nowhere. Where is the value in this seemingly lust-filled communication? I can’t answer the artist’s questions about how new media is shaping a visual landscape for gay men. But I can see his search. I can see the want for catharsis and a deeper understanding of one’s online identity and how it relates to real life.

And I can still see the words;

‘A photo of my tongue up your ass.”

- words by Benjamin Aitken


Exhibited at Off The Kerb Gallery 2017

“Boys From The Internet” Off The Kerb 2017 Invite