Posts tagged Sexuality
Annette Hur

Born in South Korea, Annette Hur lives and works in New York City. Hur has previously shown in solo / group exhibitions at Gavin Brown Enterprise, Times Square Space, Leroy Neiman Gallery, 33 Orchard gallery, Wallach Gallery in New York; Illinois State Museum, Heaven Gallery, Chicago Artists Coalition, Boundary, Sullivan Gallery, Zhou B Art Center in Chicago. Hur’s work was featured in New American Paintings issues 134 & 135, the online art publications: Bad at Sports and Third Coast Review. Hur was a resident of BOLT Residency at Chicago Artists Coalition in 2016-2017, and she holds a BA in Education from Ewha Womans University in South Korea and a BFA in Painting and Drawing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is currently a Masters of Fine Arts(2019) degree candidate at Columbia University.


My artistic pursuits suppressed throughout my young adulthood were reignited as a recovery to domestic violence and depression — both related to the patriarchal environment I was raised in while growing up in Korea. By working with abstraction on large scale oil paintings and Korean silk textiles, I investigate the inherited traditional culture that subconsciously manipulates and subverts female sexuality. Heavily abstracted bodily forms and a palette that mimics the colors of viscera or surface wounds of the body create an atmosphere of tension between the physical body and everyday violence around it. As a result, although the entire image is abstract, hints of fingers, breasts, genitals, wounds, and acts of vomiting or penetration create narratives of unsafe bodily experiences. In my work, I am empowered to express my vulnerability with strength, rejection with acceptance, and to reveal what has been hidden.

Petites Luxures
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NEW YORK CITY - Hashimoto Contemporary is pleased to present Petites Luxures in Big Apple, a solo exhibition by French illustrator Petites Luxures. Petites Luxures in Big Apple will be the artists inaugural solo exhibition at Hashimoto Contemporary, in which he explores themes of sexuality and intimacy through his signature minimalist style.

Through the use of minimal mark making focusing on the simplicity of fluid lines, Petites Luxure’s work delves into the intimacy of human relationships and love. French phrases and humorous witticism’s act as clues
to the often seemingly unfinished scenes, leaving the viewer to imagine the rest of the story. From a pair of hands unbuckling a belt to innumerable hands intertwined and entangled across bodies, the images culminate in a delicate and playful portrayal of desire and lust.

For Petites Luxures in the Big Apple, the artist will be exhibiting over 25 new ink on paper drawings, and will be exhibiting mixed media sculptural works and installations for the first time ever.

About the exhibition, Petites Luxures states, “Whatever the medium is, the purpose is always to play with the viewer’s eye, to make the spectator search for the rest of the story and to create playful and interactive erotic scenes.”

Please join us Saturday, January 5 from 6pm - 8pm for the opening reception of Petites Luxures In Big Apple. The artist will be in attendance. A limited edition archival pigment print of L’Éventail is scheduled to be released in conjunction with the exhibition and will be available in person at the opening.

This exhibition will be on view through Saturday, January 26, 2019. For more information, additional images, or exclusive content, please email us at

Rachel Gregor

Rachel Gregor is a fine artist currently living and working in Kansas City, MO. She graduated from Kansas City Art Institute in 2012 and has studied abroad at Studio Art Centers International in Florence, Italy. Born and raised in Minnesota where her parents own and operate a farm and greenhouse, floral motifs are a constant present throughout her drawings and paintings.

In her work, Gregor seeks to create psychological portraits of young girls caught between an awkward tension of girlhood and womanhood, innocence and sexuality. Depicted in oil, the figures are painted in a naturalistic manner but tiptoe between the line of realism and artificiality. The figures are caught in a single moment between the mundane and the melodramatic. Wide-eyed and wistful, the girls become frozen in a state somewhere between boredom and shock. The spaces can become completely ambiguous, and through patterned wallpaper or a crocheted blanket, only suggest an idea of a setting while retaining a strong sense of nostalgia.

Ron Geibel

Ron Geibel (b.1985) received a BFA from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and a MFA from the University of Montana. Geibel has exhibited his work in Canada and throughout the United States, including the New York Ceramics and Glass Fair, NYC; Indianapolis Art Center, Indianapolis; Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Houston; and Manifest Gallery in Cincinnati. He has been an artist in residence at the Clay Art Center in Port Chester, NY; The Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, NY; and the Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis, MN. Ceramics Monthly Magazine recognized Geibel as an emerging artist in 2015. Currently, he is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Art at Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX. 


I explore the intersection of the public and private sphere and question our awareness of self and of others. 

My conceptual framework stems from co-opted by artists during the 1980’s AIDS epidemic. Their use of traditional mass marketing tools such as billboards, neon signs, and marquees utilized a familiar format to expose a poignant message. Colorful, candy-coated sweet treats and their irresistible deliciousness toy with the notion that temptation and desire allow us to be drawn to what we don’t even realize is present. 

The use of multiples obscures the sexual references that influence the sculptures I create. I initiate dialogue concerning sexuality, gender, and identity by crafting objects that are drenched in color and laced with playful humor that reference the so-called, private parts of people lives.

Jemma Lock

Hi, my name is Jemma Lock and I recently graduated from Loughborough University in fine art. A combination of unconventional techniques is used to create a hybridisation of traditional and contemporary art styles. My concept is fuelled by dramatisation, in an aim to re-characterise individual women. These models may be holy, honorary, or worshipped individuals who have been made apparent to society through the work of other artists, such as Giorgione’s Sleeping Venus. However, in my recreations they are placed in scenarios that allow them to be socially reachable and touchable in modern society. 

Incorporating different mediums in my work, oil paints, neon lighting, and glitter makes an overwhelming experience for the viewer. The use of phallic and vulva symbolisation entices the spectator to look past the composition of oils, and search for the reasoning and understanding behind the artist’s thought. This series of work, features Venus - the goddess of love, sex and fertility accommodating a Playboy vajazzle. Eve, the first woman to exist in primeval history was depicted to have a drinking problem. Madonna, the loving mother with bleached roots and chipped nail polish. This concept plays on the notion of camouflage; you become distracted by the surrounding and not on the figure itself, taking an infamous figure and hiding it in modern life.

Sexuality From a Woman’s Perspective : Interview with Lily Brown

Lily Brown graduated from Tyler School of Art in 2015 with a BFA in Painting. Since graduation, she has continued to live and work in Philadelphia. She works with children by day teaching art, her way of helping to ensure a creative future for the next generation. By night, she returns to her studio. Oil and Gouache are her primary mediums, each used for different outcomes. Oil allows for a more complex range of emotion and technique, offering a more complicated result, while Gouache allows her to render a specific emotion with more precision and clarity. 

Using these mediums and techniques, Brown aims to investigate the gender roles in American society with a focus on the female experience. While painting these images, she is closely examining the moments when these roles are being utilized or abandoned. If the subject is leaning into these influences or fighting against them. Or possibly trying to understand them, trying to figure out where she as a human begins and these overwhelming and sometimes detrimental outside expectations end. Examples of the repercussions of gender roles pop up in all forms of social media, sexuality, anger, motherhood, our education, and every other facet of our being. Lily is questioning the foundation of being a woman and attempting to shift how we treat and view them. This drives her to search for moments and images that portray women who are encountering rules that were written by society, and enforced by our own insecurities.

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Tell us about your interest in painting the figure. When did you first begin exploring this subject matter and how has it progressed over the course of your art career?

I have drawn and painted the figure since a very young age, people in general just interest me. Before committing to art in college I started my education as a psychology major, this was before realizing I just wanted to paint people, not necessarily try and solve them. I could just stare at them for hours, imagining where they’ve been, who they are, what they're going through. Maybe subconsciously I started painting them since starring is considered rude.

Not much has changed for me in the sense of the subject matter, but I guess I go in and out of different themes. I know that when I graduated from college I became obsessed with painting highly sexualized images. I was completely infatuated with two bodies crashing against each other and I felt too self-conscious to pursue those thoughts in school. Now I have kind of moved out of that phase, although it definitely shows itself at times. I think my work reflects where I am in my life in some way or another and now I'm at a point where I feel more at home in my practice. I no longer question why I want to paint the things I do, I just act and reflect on it later.


Exploring sexuality from the female perspective is important, especially given our current political climate. Talk a little bit about your approach to painting the female nude.

This is a subject that is forever changing for me and so incredibly important. Sexuality from a woman’s perspective it still somewhat of a mystery to American society, I find this deeply upsetting. I remember growing up and ingesting all of this information from movies, magazines and yes porn, which was all mostly given to us from a man's perspective.

When I’m painting a woman, and people in general, I just want to paint them as authentically as possible. I want to catch every unique part of them. I am so sick of seeing women in paintings being depicted as these otherworldly creatures. I'm sick of seeing perfect skin and “perfect female bodies”. That ideal should be crushed, and I'd like to think that every time I paint myself or some other woman the way they truly are, stomachs, uneven boobs and all, I'm helping myself shed these ridiculous insecurities that should have never been there in the first place. And if I’m lucky, I get to help someone else feel a little more at home in her body as well.


Who are the figures you choose to paint? Where do your references and inspiration come from?

I paint my close friends, myself, and draw inspiration from old playgirls and nudist magazines from the 70’s.

How does the art community in Philadelphia impact your studio practice?

If I'm being completely honest, I am a very solitary worker and it is very hard for me to branch out and speak to others about my work on a regular basis. But when I do get out to see the shows and talk with people in collectives they are all nothing but welcoming and inclusive. I'm lucky that when I need a critique I have a couple Philly artists that are always happy to come speak with me about my practice.

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What should artists and creatives be doing to contribute to the change in how we perceive female sexuality as a society?

I think we need to destigmatize the female form, we need to stop viewing it solely a vessel of sexual pleasure, yes it can be that, but it is SO MUCH more. Just as everyone is more than their sexuality. But for the most part, artists who are dealing with this subject matter are already doing the work. Exposure is key, there is no reason female sexuality should stay behind closed doors or be seen as a subcategory of art. It IS art, just like any other subject matter. What I hope is that curators and collectors will stop viewing sexuality as a taboo theme without any real meat or importance. I hope that this type of work will start to be viewed with more consideration instead of being overlooked as crude and two-dimensional. I want to see female sexuality in galleries and shows without the label NSFW.


What's currently happening in your studio and what should we be looking out for this year?

I'm in an in-between area right now. But I have just recently started a painting of two women wrestling that is really exciting me. I plan on starting a new body of work that focuses on physical female aggression. Usually, when people think of women fighting we imagine them saying nasty things behind each other's backs. And I love the idea two women just throwing punches instead. (not that I endorse female rivalry) But that idea is fun and full of juice for me.

A Shared Narrative: Interview with Lauren Rinaldi

Lauren Rinaldi's work inhabits the space where objectification, female power and sexual empowerment intersect and blur. She uses oil paintings, mixed media drawings and sketches as her vehicles to explore ideas about intimacy, gaze, body-image, sexuality and self-Identity. She looks to the women in her life for inspiration and works to weave their experiences with her own to create a shared narrative. Through observing the nature of women seeking affirmation under the guise of anonymity online, she also is informed by the influence social media has on female identity and how detachment from the depictions of the reality of the self affects and reveals who women desire to be.

Lauren was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1983. She received her BFA in Painting from Tyler School of Art in 2006. She is represented by Paradigm Gallery + Studio in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and currently resides in Philadelphia with her husband and son.


Tell us about your background. Were you always interested in painting the female form?

I was born in Brooklyn, NY, spent my teenage years in Lancaster County, PA, moved to Philadelphia to attend college where I earned my BFA in painting from Tyler School of Art and have been a resident ever since. I am a full time artist, full time mother of a ten year old and two cats, wife, part time yoga teacher and what usually feels like a million other things.

I’ve absolutely always been interested in painting the female form. I think it came from me trying to make sense of how my own body has, in a way, defined who I am. Painting is my way of parsing out what it means for me to be a woman and thinking about the roles women play, the expectations, the currency of our bodies and our sex and how to both embrace and navigate the gift of womanhood.

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Who are the women in your paintings and drawings? What is their story and how do you come up with the reference images.

The women are me. That’s not something I usually come outright and say, for a lot of reasons, but they are. They’re me and they’re not me and when they really aren’t me, they’re still me. My story isn’t unique or special, but in my work I get to direct it. I stand outside of the frame and inside of it, so there’s no hierarchy and I hold the power.

I usually take my own reference photos or I ask women to send me their own photos and the narrative tends to revolve around reflection, voyeurism and the fluidity of private and public moments. In college I would take my photos with a disposable camera and have them developed at Rite-Aid or CVS (which in and of itself was an… interesting experience), but smart phones have really changed my process. Often times I set my phone up and just record myself doing mundane things like showering or getting dressed and later I go through the videos taking hundreds of screen shots to work from those. Historically, women have been depicted inanimately, so I like to elicit my references from an activated body; it feels more sensual and real to me. So the story isn’t always a specific narrative, but more of a sizing up, looking, assessing and reassessing, peeking, revealing, concealing and evaluating oneself and where and how she fits into a broader context.

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What do you hope to show the viewer about the female identity in today's culture?

The day before the Women’s March this past January, I shared work on social media and I was immediately suspended from Facebook and the image was removed from Instagram. So one of the signs I made to carry the next day read: My nipples violate your community standards. The fact that I, a cis white female, exist unapologetically in my body is controversial and offensive to some in the year 2018. Reactions like that occasionally fuel my work, because I think it’s worth exploring the boundary lines of what is deemed acceptable and what crosses over to vulgar or worthy of censorship. So like most artists, I just want the viewer to feel something, whether that is feeling is discomfort, pleasure, numbness, etc. when they look at the art I make and to question why it makes them respond that way and for them to think about what of themselves they brought to the experience that affects their interaction with the work.

Tell us about a typical day in the studio. How do you prioritize and balance your time?

On a typical day I wake up by 7am and drink about half of a pot of coffee while I answer emails, do bookkeeping things and make lists. Next I’ll either do some sketching to warm up, plan my next piece(s), I’ll prepare some surfaces or I’ll jump right into whatever painting I’m working on. I’ll spend the next few hours working while listening to too many political or murder mystery podcasts and continuing to drink my perpetually cold coffee that I keep reheating and forgetting about. I’m always working on multiple paintings so, depending on what deadlines I have coming up or what needs to dry or how I’m feeling, I’m able to jump around and I never really feel stuck because I have something else to work on. I work until the very last minute and then I run out of the house and pick my son up from school. If there’s time after I take care of general life things, homework, sports practice, dinner, etc. and before I teach yoga in the evenings, I might sneak back into my studio and work some more. As a mom it can be difficult to balance my time and my son and his needs always take top priority, but having to compartmentalize every hour of my day actually helps me to be more efficient in the studio. I know I have a certain time frame in which I absolutely have to be productive.

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Name a few contemporary female artists that you look up to.

Ahh, there are so many! Lisa Yuskavage, Inka Essenhigh, Amy Sherald, Carolee Schneeman, Gina Beavers, Rose Freymuth-Frazier, Jenny Saville, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Ghada Amer to name just a few. My local artist friends I know in real life grinding every day and make great art are a huge inspiration, as well.


What do you feel artists need to do more of in order to raise awareness of today's cultural and political issues?

I would just encourage artists to be courageous and not shy away from addressing issues they feel strongly about. To me, art making is about creating an environment of empathy and, it turns out, empathy can be quite contentious and polarizing, which makes art inherently political. I believe art and politics by nature can’t be separated and that it’s our job as artists to process the world in which we live in a deliberate manner, cognizant of the context of our work and its pertinence to whatever current cultural issues we’re facing.

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What are you currently working on and what's next for you?

Right now the majority of my studio time is being devoted to working on a new body of mostly oil paintings for my upcoming summer solo show at Paradigm Gallery + Studio here in Philadelphia. I’m excited about the paintings I’ve got in the works and I’m also looking forward to finishing them up and possibly working on an installation and a couple of fun experimental pieces I can’t stop thinking about.

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Blurring The Lines Between Genders: Synaesthetics Illustration Interview (NSFW)

The power of a tiny change in how we represent men and women through art is fascinating. Something as simple as the placement of large hoop earrings on a masculine lumberjack can seem so out of place. Society places great importance on what is considered inherently male or female; however, life is not so black and white.

Blurring the lines between genders in my artwork allows me to explore and challenge these steadfast notions of male and female. The female figure saturates art and is often used and abused in many art forms. I choose to draw predominately male or androgynous figures, placing them in clothing and situations that society has deemed to be feminine. The female figure seems to be fair game when it comes to art – place a male in the same position and you will get a completely different reaction. I am compelled to draw beautiful images that contrast our ideas of what male/masculinity is with how women are portrayed within art and society as a whole.

Using pencils and musical inspiration, I create concepts that not only encourage people to question their gender beliefs, but entertain them. Erotic and playful, each piece is inspired by the colours and feelings that music can create in us. Certain tones will trigger distinct colours and the general drone of a song will have a weight to it that will either be atmospheric or item/texture specific - high pitched electronic sounds are shiny and sparkly, whereas thumping bass is rubbery and liquid like.

My work is an examination of us as humans, as participants, voyeurs, followers and change-makers.


When did you develop an interest in art? Tell us about your creative journey.

Early – Colouring in books pushed me over the edge. My anal retentive need to colour within the lines coupled with the frustration that the lines never went where I thought they should be or cut through images in sloppy black mess forced my hand (figuratively and literally) to create what I wanted to see and colour on a page. 

Drawing people or humanesque figures was always a favourite thing – I enjoyed the amount of detail and movement I could put in these pictures. They could be anything, relatable and realistic, doing human things or they could be turned into fantastical creatures all butterfly of wing and sea creature of tail.

At about the age of 8 or 9, I distinctly remember my dad taking me to the National Gallery of Victoria and suddenly being struck by the…permission to not have to draw clothing on these humans anymore. I had always considered the idea but somewhere along the line also decided that it would be rude of me, or that people would be embarrassed by me doing so. This now flew in direct contrast to what I was now seeing “real artists” do.

Flash forward to high school, the 14-15 year old me is continuing with this nude is good discovery. However, I can’t say this went down well in a high school setting. Turns out people, particularly teenagers are embarrassed by nudes, even when the possess the same body parts. The teachers weren’t much better – the words “pornographic and disgusting!” were screeched by my art teacher across the staffroom during a drop off of work for a local art competition (which, hilariously – I won). My inability to find the words to defend myself and my work, combined with a school fire that destroyed both my graphic design and art portfolios in my final year of study led me to give up on art.
A 120 Faber-Castell Polychomos pencils set would be my artistic denial undoing. I’d been gifted as a gift for completing high school studies, but I buried them within the depths of a cupboard, and there they lay for 10 years. I was terrified of them. They were a threat to my rationale for not drawing, and a totally unfamiliar medium. When I rediscovered them years later, I couldn’t bring myself to sell them and I couldn’t bring myself to draw so they sat, now within line of sight on a bookshelf for a further 2 years. Daring me to see how atrocious my skills would be after years of neglect. As you can guess, I caved.

In the Tl:dr version of events: I started using coloured pencils for the first time in 2014 and haven’t looked back.


Gender and sexuality is an important subject given today's political climate. What do you hope the viewer takes away from your work?

I would be lying if I said I start each piece with the intent of an emotional reaction of the viewer, however, that frequently happens and I enjoy it – good and (especially) bad. I’m not looking to make political statements, almost the opposite? In doing so, I inherently am making a statement and that statement to be frank, is that I don’t give a fuck. I don’t think a person’s sexuality or gender identity should be a political issue and there is something decidedly broken in society when it finds itself wielding that as threat or something to be feared.

I don’t care what humans choose to clothe themselves in. The fact that I could draw an image of what might be considered a hyper masculine scene, fit for the cover of an action movie, and add a set of giant hoop earrings or batwing eyeliner to the main character and suddenly people are questioning what’s going on just fascinates me. Why so much power in such a tiny object/look? How can something so arbitrary totally change the story of an image, and in the context of the world, the way we would perceive and interact with another human? From that, I suppose it’s about what I want to take away – I want to know why it’s alright to apply certain clothing or poses or settings to one gender but not another. In the case of my androgynous characters, why it’s important to the viewer to know what genitalia they might poses before they decided how they feel about the image. Which to me says more about the viewer that it does about my work.


Tell us about what inspires you. How do you come up with the images and decide what to draw?

The first instigator of imagery within my mind is always music. It gives me the weights, textures and often the colour scheme of the imagery. To that I add one or more of my characters and then play around with different music to alter the mood. I’ll often set myself a technical challenge within each piece to make it difficult, and to keep it interesting while I work on it.

For example, for my last piece, Do You Feel Loved, I picked up on select words of a song “…scent hanging in the air”, ”…nails under your hide”, “…teeth at your back”, “…tongue…”. These words and phrases all stood out to me as quite animalistic in tone, the droning bass of the song added a rubber/latex texture in my mind. To keep with the animal vibe and give myself a challenge I added in the leopard print. Which then lead my brain to images of house cats preening themselves on window ledges (my brain can be oddly specific sometimes).

Applying this flash of imagery to a character, it begins to become something solid that I can then manipulate and add to/remove from. In this case I chose a pose in which the character was preening themselves as a cat might. I also wanted to juxtapose the idea of predator against prey so I gave him antlers which would of course be something you would see on a male deer however. Despite his stereotypical masculine physique, the character would be viewed as having feminine attributes due to the pose and clothing they have been placed in alluding their sexuality when I’ve not actively said anything at all.


How do you feel your work has evolved over the past few years?

Quite a long way considering I’d never use coloured pencils before 2014, and prior to that, not drawn anything for at least 10 years. I still have a considerable way to go in terms of technique as I’d like to add much more visual depth and layer multiple images over each other, in a manner more akin to the way my mind sees images. But at this stage I feel I need a stronger understanding of what I can do with the medium before attempting these pieces. It has certainly been a short sharp ride thus far.

Share a piece of advice with our readers that helped you make bold decisions in your work.
I make a point of not self-censoring – I’m not sure if that can be considered bold? If your artistic thoughts consist of butterflies and bunny rabbits it’s probably not going to cause too much controversy. Ultimately it’s the viewer who decides how a work is received so if you consider bold to be something of controversy, know your audience and give them the opposite of what they expect or want – don’t expect to make friends in the process.


What other artists or creatives inspire you?

My two biggest influences at the moment are Goldfrapp and Nine Inch Nails. They overlap in their electronic elements but contrast each other greatly in tone. It’s fun to take an image in my head that was inspired by one artist and place it within the sounds of another to see what weird twists it puts on the colours or mood of a piece. I also greatly enjoy the works of Hajime Sorayama – it would be great to reach that height of hyper realism in pencil form.


What are you currently working on?

Currently working on a couple of pieces – one being the largest pencil drawing I’ve under taken so far. It has the added texture challenge of both Glomesh fabric and soap bubbles because apparently, I like to torture myself.

I’m also having some fun with glazed doughnuts in another piece, which may encourage a love of doughnuts or put the viewer off them for life depending on how much you like glaze and where...

Bernadette Despujols

Bernadette Despujols was born in 1987 in Barquisimeto, Venezuela. She studied Architecture at the Universidad Central de Venezuela (UCV), where she graduated with honors in 2007. Soon after, she continued her education at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where she took classes in architecture, cultural exchange, morphology and anatomy before beginning her endeavors in art making. Despujols taught Architectonic Design at the School of Architecture at the Universidad Central de Venezuela before moving to the US to pursue her MFA in Visual Arts at the California Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts) in 2010. Despujols’ artistic practice is highly expansive, as she incorporates a wide range of different media, including painting, sculpture, video, and installation. Her current work revolves and questions historical allusions, myths, and references regarding the perception of women, sex, and contemporary life. She shares her time between her architectonic firm and her art practice. Lives and works in Miami since 2013.


Despujols works with a diverse variety of materials, scales and strategies, intervening and assembling objects, working in small format paintings or large participatory sculptures, which complete an acute body of work that questions gender, the perception of women by society and themselves. Despujols questions intimacy and the idea that the world in which we live now revolves around sex. Bernadette Despujols examines from a variety of perspectives many deeply ingrained cultural practices associated with attempts to define contemporary womanhood. In this vein, the quest to find the answer to the question of how a woman, by virtue of being a woman, makes others uncomfortable seems to be one of the central tenets explored by her body of work. By drifting from guilt to shame, sex to loneliness, innocence to complicity, Despujols exposes femininity and the concept of the feminine as something to be understood by not just women themselves but by other genders as well. Bernadette Despujols’ work references the body and its place in social and cultural constructs specific to women, and speaks to the opinion of women of themselves, by themselves, in conjunction with that of men’s and the view of society at large... Her work encompasses nuances and subtleties that revolve around the cultural perception of women about themselves: guilt trips, social expectations, sexual desire, as well as intimate bodily connections and thoughts. It also explores the perception that womanhood is somehow always connected with some kind of guilt and draws a fine line between sardonic humor and sheer abjection.

Provocative, NSFW Paintings by Philadelphia Artist Lily Brown

Lily Brown, graduated from Tyler School of Art in 2015 with a BFA in Painting and Drawing. Since graduation she has continued to live and work in Philadelphia. Themes of innocence, vulgarity, aggression, vulnerability, humor, and their interplay are present in her work. Brown believes these sensibilities inform her decision making process and shape her experience of the world. Using photography and collage to assemble a pleasing composition, Brown gravitates towards images that strongly express those emotions.

Lily’s paintings and drawings become a documentation or diary of her ideas. Drawings tending to be a more direct examination of a specific moment or emotion in time, while her oil paintings offer more complexity. A large amount of time goes into each one, each session holding a different feeling or outlook on the given subject. Because of that Brown’s oil paintings are tackling one idea from a multitude of different emotional states and viewpoints, making a dynamic and and sometimes conflicting end result.

NSFW at Spoke Art

A Group Exhibition Curated by Dasha Matsuura

August 5-26, 2017 

Spoke Art is pleased to present NSFW, a group exhibition featuring over 40 female and femme identifying artists exploring sex and sexuality. This dynamic group displays a complex spectrum of experiences from the feminine perspective.

Working in a variety of media including painting, embroidery, neon and beyond, each artist presents their unique interpretation of sexuality. Celebrating the concurrent, opposing forces of femininity, the work celebrates the female experience by highlighting the presence of soft sensuality with powerful and brash frankness.

Each piece delves into the complexity of female sexuality, not as a definitive narrative, but as a larger conversation. Giving voice to artists across the spectrum of gender identity, sexual orientation, nationality, racial background and experiences, the exhibition explores how each artist relates to their own sexuality.

Please join us for NSFW, opening Saturday, August 5th, with an opening night reception from 6pm - 9pm. The exhibition will be on view through Saturday, August 26th. For more information or additional images, please email us at

Participating artists include:

Jen Bartel | Laura Berger | Audrey Bodisco | Stephanie Brown | Nomi Chi | Katie Commodore | Jess de Wahls | Vanessa Del Rey | Jenny Dubet | Robin Eisenberg | Sabrina Elliott | Lyndsie Fox | Alex Garant | Nicole Guice | Jessica Hess | Sally Hewett | Alisha Huskin | Tina Jiang | Natalie Krim | Lauren YS | Noel’le Longhaul | Cathy Lu | Tina Lugo | Sarah Maxwell | Miss Meatface | Miss Van | Nadezda | Joanne Nam | Jeany Ngo | ONEQ | Meryl Pataky | Petite Luxures | Allison Reimold | Emma Rose Laughlin | Ellen Schinderman | Jessica So Ren Tang | Mel Stringer |Lindsay Stripling | Miranda Tacchia | Winnie Truong | Mandy Tsung | Neryl Walker | Wishcandy | Kathrine Worel

"Sex Symbol" Group Exhibition in Philadelphia

Nancy Hellebrand in collaboration with Shira Yudkoff, Judy Gelles, Ekaterina Popova, and Phyllis Gorsen

Philadelphia, PA – ARTSPACE 1241 at 1241 Carpenter Street, Philadelphia is pleased to announce a group exhibition, Sex Symbol, from July 6, 2017 – July 30, 2017. 

The gallery’s opening reception will be held on Friday, July 14th from 6:00-9:00 p.m.

Artist talk is Sunday July 30th from 1:00pm to 3:00pm.

Sex Symbol is an exhibition representing symbols of sex from a woman's perspective, with ‘sex’ having a broad interpretation, including: femininity, sexuality, intimacy, and the physical act itself. The artists, who are all from the Philadelphia area, are: Nancy Hellebrand in collaboration with Shira Yudkoff, Judy Gelles, Ekaterina Popova and Phyllis Gorsen.  Using a variety of mediums, the show explores what women perceive as emblems of the female gender.  In many instances within the work, femininity and sexuality are cross bred in both internal identities as well as in external social constructs.   Though the symbols chosen are broadly recognized, they are filtered through the lens of each artist exposing individual personal narratives such as identity, life experiences and cultural beliefs. There is a rousing interplay between works that espouse subtleties of importance with works more pronounced in their intention.

Nancy Hellebrand, a graduate of Columbia University. Her photography is exhibited in museums and galleries internationally including:  The Museum of Modern Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Institute of Contemporary Art, Tate Britain, The National Portrait Gallery in London, Yale University Art Gallery, Pace/MacGill, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and Locks Gallery.  Hellebrand lives and works in Philadelphia. 

Shira Yudkoff, a graduate of the University of Maryland, specializes in multimedia and documentary photography.  She has worked with University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, among others. Yudkoff works in Philadelphia.

Judy Gelles received her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design.  Gelles’ work is exhibited in museums and galleries internationally including: National Portrait Gallery in London, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Fleisher Wind Challenge, Philadelphia Museum of Art.  She is represented by Pentimenti Gallery in Philadelphia. Gelles lives and works in Philadelphia.  

Ekaterina Popova, a graduate of Kutztown University, is a painter whose work has been exhibited nationally, including Uforge Gallery in Boston, The Boxheart Gallery in Pittsburgh, Chris White Gallery in Wilmington, A.I.R. Gallery in NY and Art Miami.  She is also the founder of Create! Magazine.  Popova lives and works in Wilmington.

Phyllis Gorsen received her MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Her work has been exhibited nationally, including The Site: Brooklyn in New York, The Painted Bride, The Center for Emerging Visual Artists, and Santa Clara University.  She has also curated shows at Philadelphia’s ARTSPACE 1241.  Gorsen currently works out of her studio in Philadelphia.

Sex Symbol will run from July 6th through July 30th.  Gallery hours are Wednesday and Friday from 12-5pm as well as by appointment.  For further information or to schedule a gallery visit, please call or text Phyllis Gorsen at 856.685.4312 or email at  

Pansy Ass Ceramics

We are Andy Walker and Kris Aaron, Artist duo and couple specializing in ceramics in Toronto, Canada. We have been working together on Pansy Ass since the summer of 2015. 


In our work we use the aesthetics of 50s and 60s kitsch to create new tchotchkes that speak to queer culture. We use the medium to create campy objects that reflect non-normative sexualities and identities. We hope that our work provides opportunities for people to create spaces that reflect their identity and can be used as symbols of pride. 

"Furnished" Exhibition Featuring Tahnee Lonsdale

(London, U.K) - Roberta Moore Contemporary is delighted to announce ’Furnished’, a show of new works from LA based British abstract artist Tahnee Lonsdale at Herrick Gallery in Mayfair, London.

Fuelled by a quest for an empowered female voice and leavened with a mordant wit, ’Furnished’ mines the tension between familial expectations and creative expression. In this new body of work, Lonsdale explores why women are so affronted by social expectations and perceptions; gender roles often passed down by mothers which undermine female strength.  At the heart of each painting is not only a personal struggle but a universal one; it is about love and pain, repression and submission. 

Bemused with the archaic domestic expectations laid upon her, Tahnee randomly built balanced towers of dollhouse furniture, which she photographed and traced onto large canvases, removing them from their tiny origins. With paint, these vulnerable childhood artefacts blossomed into domestic scenes - figures emerge from abstraction; glitches become real. The paintings are raw and fleshy, clinical tones transformed into meaty pinks, tongues and phalluses, with the chair, and its domestic origins, omnipresent throughout. 

For Tahnee, process gives her time to develop an idea. Domestic objects take on figurative forms and sit centre stage. A chair begins as an object of singular value and evolves into an opinion. How can it be removed from its domestic purpose and become an archetype, possibly even an object of sexual desire?

Sex is a charged theme throughout- a domestic scene becomes an orgy, shapes transmute and sexual imagery delineates.

In this series, Tahnee made four small canvases titled “Mostly Thinking About Sex”, particularly the lack of it; the lack of sex, self and connection. Chairs, stuffed with bed sheets and plastic, are stacked and entwine; the installation figurative before its deconstruction.

Renowned contemporary arts moderator Joy Gidden referenced Matisse’s Harmony in Red in connection with Tahnee's previous work ‘Self-Portrait in the Kitchen’, which gave Lonsdale a new frame of reference to explore.

In her own words, Tahnee describes how she, ‘proceeded to borrow Van Gogh’s bed, above which there is a window with Matisse’s view; sex and commentary persist. The male artist seeks to claims his privilege but I have the last word. I’m not sure how and why these patriarchs belong in my personal world, caught up in the intricacies of angsty post-feminism, but… they somehow do.

When we marry, we essentially step into a foreign yet familiar role - we are born into it yet we enter an unknown terrain of adulthood, marriage and ownership. A union of love is at once binding and comforting; safe and restricting, it is push and pull. With children, it reaches fever pitch. How does one juggle being both a wife and a mother, at once sexual and maternal? 

I figured out early how to keep quiet, lips sealed, hands and feet tied, but still I am carrying the weight of our sum-of-parts. I cannot submit or fully resist; I paint instead.  The artist and mother archetypes housed within me may never merge in my life, but on the canvas they keep one another at bay.’


About Tahnee Lonsdale:

Tahnee Lonsdale’s paintings represent the newest direction in semi-abstract painting. Whimsical figures and other objects populate vibrant fields of colour that suggest anything from domestic interiors to wild landscapes. Her compositions are inspired as much by her surrounding as her personal beliefs.  At once both detailed and dreamy, Lonsdale’s work leaves just enough to the imagination. A narrative, often involving a journey of sorts, is clearly implied, though it is up to the viewer with the aid of Lonsdale’s colourful titles, to piece together all the elements of the story being told. 

In 2012 Roberta Moore Contemporary started to represent Tahnee and the following year showed her collection 'waiting for entry into that holy place' followed by ‘Your Epoche’ in 2015. 

These collections garnered the attentions of Rebecca Wilson of Saatchi Art, who selected Tahnee as one of ’12 artists to invest in now’.

Tahnee Lonsdale holds a BA from the Byam Shaw School of Art in London. Since graduating in 2007, she has been short-listed for a number of awards including both the Dazed and Confused Emerging Artist Award and ‘100 Painters of Tomorrow’. Her work has been exhibited widely in her native Britain, as well as in the United States at venues such as the Orange County Centre for Contemporary Art in Santa Ana, CA, and is part of collections globally. Lonsdale currently lives and works in Los Angeles.

About Roberta Moore Contemporary

Roberta Moore Contemporary (RMC) specialises in showcasing emerging and established international contemporary artists. RMC presents an annual programme of ‘pop-up’ exhibitions in unique and unusual spaces throughout London and the UK, in addition to a range of collaborations linking artists, audiences and brands.

10 - 16 May 2017

Herrick Gallery, 93 Piccadilly, London W1J 7NQ

Interview: Annique Delphine

Berlin based artist Annique Delphine uses her artwork as a tool to challenge the way society thinks about female identity and sexuality. Working in sculpture, photography, and installations, she creates confrontational and thought-provoking work that is powerfully feminine while embodying the strength in women. The breast can be found in much of her work, reclaiming the woman’s body, reversing its current role as commodity. We spoke to Delphine about her inspiration as an artist, her compelling body of work, and the important message behind each piece. 

What is your artistic background? Tell me about your creative process.

I studied photography at Neue Schule für Fotografie in Berlin and my initial goal was to be a fashion photographer and photojournalist. I worked as a music photographer for many years before realizing that all I really wanted to do was make my own art. For the past 6 years I have been exclusively creating fine art photography, experimental short films, installations, performances, and whatever other medium I can use to express myself. I work intuitively, often trying out new things and new practices without much of a plan. It’s usually try and fail and try and fail until I get it right. I have pictures in my head that I try to visualize. They are always somehow channeling what I’m currently feeling or struggling with. 


What inspired you to create a body of work focusing on female body politics and sexuality? What is your own experience in dealing with this?

Since everything I create reflects my own experiences and my point of view as a woman, my art has naturally taken on women’s issues.

My art is therapeutic to me. I’m trying to push back on the boundaries I still feel as a female artist. It’s a way to point a mirror to society so we can have a look at our status quo and imagine what the future might look like if we don’t intervene. I try to explore feminist issues in a playful way, but behind the cute little boobs in pastel colors drenched in ice cream, there is the thought of how disgusted I am with the ways in which women’s bodies are regarded as sexual play things/properties, commodities, and I am sometimes disgusted with how I objectify myself even. Internalized misogyny is also a big driving force of my work. 

How did you begin using the breast in your sculptural work?

I started with self-portraits, which were usually nude. The reactions were often polarizing. Some people (including one of my teachers in photography school) said the pictures were vulgar. They were never sexual though. They were just pictures of a woman (myself) without any or very few clothes on. That got me thinking: why is it so accepted for male artists to display the naked female body through painting, sculpture, photography, etc. but when a woman displays herself that way it’s vain, vulgar and unacceptable? 

Men can marvel at a woman’s beauty but women shall never do it themselves. We are held somewhere between “make yourself as attractive as possible” and “don’t ever believe in your own attractiveness.” It’s maddening. That conflict is what got me started as a feminist artists and then a few years ago I came across these breast-shaped stress balls in a novelty store. I bought a couple of boxes and started photographing them, making sculptures out of them, putting them in odd contexts. Then I thought, well what if I take them outside and confront people with them? So I started my project Girl Disruptive where I do guerrilla installations of breasts and flowers in public places. 

Tell me about your installation work. What do you hope will be gained through confronting viewers with an isolated part of the female body, one that is often both censored and exploited through the media?

I like to poke people, make them a bit uncomfortable by warping their reality so they might question some of the norms society has established for us. For instance, it’s completely normal to view breasts as an object. When we see advertising for fashion, beauty products, for beer, cars… whatever, we see a pair of breasts and, of course we know that they are a part of a woman’s body, but we have gotten so used to viewing them as ‘things.’ They are like a stand in symbol for sex. Female sexuality is used to drive capitalism, but it’s a very limited sexuality; one that caters to the straight male gaze. It has become ingrained in us that breasts and therefore female nipples are linked to sex. So a naked woman’s body is always associated with that even when it’s not displayed in a sexual context. 

I try to drive that point further by adding breasts into everyday pictures and expressing the way I experience objectification in a literal sense; breasts as deserts, breasts as alien spaceships, breasts as heads to replace a human mind, a woman’s personality and her agenda. 

A chair made out of breasts (referring to one of my sculptures) is funny and cute, but it also makes viewers uneasy because it questions it’s own purpose. May you sit on a chair made out of female body parts? How does that reflect the way women are treated? What are the different reasons someone might feel uncomfortable siting on a chair like that? What are the different reasons someone might have no hesitation sitting on this chair? 

Your series Objecitfy Me sheds light on important issues regarding women’s body as a commodity. Women are constantly reminded through everyday images that their body is an object; we as women are made to feel that our body doesn’t belong to us. How does this series work to reclaim the female body for women?

My work attempts to explain to people how we constantly feel like our bodies don’t belong to us. That we don’t understand how on one hand our bodies are a commodity and on the other hand it’s forbidden or harshly judged when women take charge of that commodity. Women are always judged for their bodies, for they sexuality and for any attempt at autonomy. By bringing these issues to light and starting dialogue with people—people who are unaware—I hope I can help us reclaim power. I am hoping to heal some of the wounds misogyny has inflicted upon us. 

In your work titled “Alien Nature,” the subject sports a large, single breast in place of her head. Do you feel that women’s bodies are seen as ‘the other’ and are often treated as such through regulation and control?

Yes that is exactly how I feel. It is as if everything to do with womanhood or femininity is alien to people and they feel threatened by it. My works Flying Object (Beverly Hills, CA) and Flying Object (Mohave Desert, CA) reflect this as well. I find it so absurd how a female nipple alone can be such a threatening thing. It goes back to female sexuality being viewed as something shameful, something that should be controlled. 


Earlier you mentioned your series Girl Disruptive. Can you tell me more about this series and the real life stories behind it?

Girl Disruptive is a photography and installation project where I seek out public places which are either frequented by a lot of people on a daily basis, or they are somehow connected to women’s struggles or a specific woman. I make these impromptu arrangements of flower petals and breasts. I photograph them and then I leave the scene and let people do with it whatever they want. I will post a picture of it to my social media account and then talk about how the installation is connected to gender-based violence or rape culture or misogyny in general. 

For instance, last year in LA I did one at the exact location where Elizabeth Short’s body was found. Elizabeth Short is better know as the “Black Dahlia” and was most likely raped and tortured before she was murdered. Her body was found mutilated and discarded on a road. In the aftermath, many untrue stories about her were spread by the media including accounts on how she used to work as a prostitute. Regardless of if it was true or not, this was linked to her murder as if prostitution somehow justified the attack on her. 

I did one recently in 3 different spots in Berlin that were all historically linked to one woman: Hedwig Porschütz. This was a woman who during World War II risked her own life many times over to save others from deportation by the Nazis. She hid people in her apartment for years, she helped smuggle food into concentration camps and was sent to prison for black market purchases of food. In her later life, she was very poor and applied for government assistance through a silent hero fund. This fund was started specifically for people like her; people who were prosecuted by fascist Germany for helping Jews. She was denied any financial assistance on the grounds of being a former prostitute. Her courage and selflessness were negated by what the 1960s government viewed as a “life of low morality.”  You would think things have changed by now, but it’s 2017 and slut-shaming is still a tool used to dehumanize women and justify violence and hate towards them. I use my installations to raise awareness of these injustices.

Having such an unapologetically strong female voice as an artist, what female artist inspires you the most?

I am hugely inspired by Sarah Lucas and Tracey Emin. They made me want to become an artist because they were the first women artists I was exposed to who were questioning gender roles and the way women artists are expected to express themselves.