More to Me Than HIV

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More to Me Than HIV

First published in Gscene July 2020 For last years World AIDS Day I put together a public project of work joining other people living with an HIV+ diagnoses at Jubilee library.For last years World AIDS Day I put together a public project of work joining other people living with an HIV+ diagnoses at Jubilee library. For the project I spoke openly about my journey having being           Read more

More to Me Than HIV: GScene post Aug 2020

More to Me Than HIV is a project that aims to breakdown the stigma that has historically been attached to this virus.  When I saw my piece in last months Gscene to promote the More to Me Than HIV project, I was extremely proud, but a small part of me was filled with anxiety; but why should I feel this way? I have been on effective antiretroviral therapy since the Read more

More to Me Than HIV: first published in GScene July 2020

For last years World AIDS Day I put together a public project of work joining other people living with an HIV+ diagnoses at Jubilee library. For the project I spoke openly about my journey having being             diagnosed HIV+ 32 years previous. Back then there was no treatment and a lot of fear and misinformation concerning how HIV was transmitted. As such stigma was rife, Read more

Robert Mapplethorpe

Countdown to Brighton LGBT Pride.

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In just over a month’s time, Brighton will be awash with people from all over the LGBT community, celebrating what is set to be a fantastic LGBT Pride. With this year’s theme, Gay Icons, expect the parade to be filled with troupes of’ Marilyn’s; both seven year itch and 80’s icon variety, along with a few Madonna’s, Divines, and a smattering of Diana’s; Dors, Rigg, Princes.   

 

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Posted on by admin in Brighton & Hove, Gay, Leisure, LGBT Leave a comment

Welcome to the Dark World of Dualism (Vol 1)

The Dualism photography book (Vol 1) has not been created for those who like to leave out heavy tombs on their coffee tables, expressing their love for all things interior design or the latest high fashion. This book is for those who think left of field, for those who like to open forbidden doors and then pray that the world they are viewing doesn’t exist.

The space created by the artist behind The Dualism Book conjures up a place that is frightening, fascinating, disturbing and beautiful. To some it will have echoing influencers from both Robert Mapplethorpe and Terry Richardson, photographers who also push the boundaries of art.

The Artist behind The Dualism, has taken the title of the book to create his vision, of unravelling sheets of love and hate, stripped of empathy, but never quite indifferent – wandering through Caravaggio’s shadows and the crisp suburbs of hell.” 

Indeed, many of the darker works (both literally and figuratively) have echos of Caravaggio where the viewer is dragged into the nightmare and just like Caravaggio’s work they find themselves deeply disturbed, but unable to look away. This is particularly true for the artist’s work where muted colours and scratched surfaces give a feel that the viewer has stumbled across a forgotten place of purgatory.

Just as Mapplethorpe and Richards toyed with various taboo subjects, the artist behind Dualism also devlves into the dark where love and anger, fun and fear, the grotesque and beautiful are blended into each other, creating the strange hybrid of Vol 1.

With each turn of the page the viewer is taken into a different landscape, where gender is questioned,  nightmares explored and even when the reader comes across the classically beautiful portraits, they only help to emphasise the darkness that seeps from the artist’s imagination within his other work. 

With Volume one drumming up much interest worldwide, the artist is constantly on the lookout for subjects to become part of the next collection. Plans are also afoot for a gallery space to show a variety of work by the Artist from Dualism, along with other creative artists who share the same vision. For more information on the philosophy behind the work and how to get your own copy of the book please visit, thedualism.com.

Posted on by Glenn Stevens in Fiction & Books, Gothic horror, Leisure Leave a comment

Provocative, inspirational, genius: Robert Mapplethorpe 1946-1989

Robert Mapplethorpe was born on long island, received a B.F.A From Brooklyn were he was experimenting with varies types of art, but at this stage photography was not his primary passion. It was only later when he stated using a Polaroid instamatic, taking images of his friends and family that he would turn his attention to this art form and push the boundaries and become known for his more notorious photography. The very foundations of the art institutions would be rocked as Mapplethorpe presented work that for many was simply pornographic. But it was Mapplethorpe’s eye for light and shade that made the viewer see the artistic touch within these raw images that represented the underground sadomasochism New York club scene that Mapplethorpe so loved and from that he showed beauty within the darkness.

In his interviews he claimed not to want to shock, but by mixing images such as Louise Bougeois, renowned French-american artist and sculptor with a unfeasible large sex toy says he knew exactly how to play the media game, ensuring he quickly became established as someone to watch out for.

As his career continued, Mapplethorpe played with different styles and images, moving from the shock value of the S and M scene, to portraits of the famous, to flowers.It was even with this subject that he managed to bring erotica into the frame with their suggestive protruding pistol and feminine genital shaped curves. The way he captures their form is stunning, taking the way he uses his human subjects and applying that to the flowers, using isolation of the image, making the viewer take note of the light and shade, the shadows and shapes that are thrown up.

As beautiful as these well crafted images are, Mapplethorpe insisted that this type of work was done as a way of paying for projects, he was really interested in. He also added that the flower projects were the only type of his art that would be allowed in public galleries.

Had he lived, he would have smiled to see that his work that was once seen as too controversial would now be hailed as way before his time.  Like Artist before him, Mapplethorpe pushed the boundaries, making images in art and media move forward, which can only be a good thing. What I finally want to say about this man is no matter what your view on him you must have some admiration, no matter how small that he would make you stop and think about his work, be it showing you beauty in the image of celebrities, flowers or exploring extreme sexual images and near the end of his life taking hard to view images of himself finally losing the battle to AIDS which stole away a great artist of our time.

Posted on by Glenn Stevens in Fiction & Books, Flash Blogs, Health, HIV/AIDS, Leisure, Literature Leave a comment