6 Dec 2019 – 6 Jan 2020
Celebrating queer male sexuality, Filth is a new exhibition from artist Ben Youdan, exploring gender identity, leather and fetish subculture. In his first show since his residency at Tom of Finland Foundation in Los Angeles, Filth is a series of portraits embodying the joy and freedom of queer sex and sexual expression.
The exhibition has been twelve months in the making, with work beginning in LA. As part of its ambition to promote erotic art, the Tom of Finland Foundation hosts an artist-in-residency programme, allowing time to create, research and inspire new work. Youdan began to create the work for Filth while in the ‘Tom House’ from December 2018 to March 2019, researching Tom’s archive and work at the Foundation. Making connections with the Leather community of Los Angeles, Youdan exhibited a series of six mixed media portraits at the end of his residency. These works have developed into the new collection for the Liverpool exhibition.
“The work is an exuberant celebration of male beauty, the male form and its erotic nature. The archetype of the Leatherman is obviously high in profile at the Tom House but it’s one that often finds itself being derided or mocked in both popular culture and, sadly too often, the gay community itself. Preconceptions of masculinity harm both our sense of our own identity, our sexuality and our freedom to express ourselves.
“This exhibition in Liverpool is a sex positive, unashamedly celebratory show. Eroticism doesn’t need censorship, is it something to be championed”.
Filth is curated by Duovision with assistance from Arts Council England.
Ben Youdan is a Liverpool-based artist whose mixed media portraits adorn the walls of galleries and private collections alike. Tackling celebrity, sexuality and gender, his colourful and eyecatching portraits are filled with a dual narrative, poking fun at hypocrisy, doublespeak and the mixed messaging that fuels popular culture.
Facebook: Ben Youdan Art
The Gallery Liverpool, on Stanhope Street in the city’s emerging Baltic Triangle, is a contemporary art space. With a programme curated by DuoVision, Martin Green and James Lawler, The Gallery works with predominantly older and often undervalued artists, designers and photographers engaging with a wider audience. Working extensively with the LGBT community exhibited artists include Marc Almond, Jarvis Cocker, Caroline Coon, Pam Hogg, Whitaker Malem, with performances by Patrick Wolf and Andrew Logan.