Keep Your Timber Limber

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Untitled drawing by Tom of Finland.

Tom of Finland’s beefy clones arrive within cruising distance of Buckingham Palace this week as part of an exhibition of drawings at the ICA. Keep Your Timber Limber is subtitled Works on Paper, and features contributions from eight artists old and new: Judith Bernstein, Tom of Finland, George Grosz, Margaret Harrison, Mike Kuchar, Cary Kwok, Antonio Lopez and Marlene McCarty.

Keep Your Timber Limber (Works on Paper) explores how artists since the 1940s to the present day have used drawing to address ideas critical and current to their time, ranging from the politics of gender and sexuality, to feminist issues, war and censorship. Stretching from fashion to erotica, the works can all be viewed as being in some way transgressive, employing traditional and commercial drawing techniques to challenge specific social, political or stylistic conventions.

The piece below by Cary Kwok isn’t one of those on display; according to BUTT magazine he’ll be showing a new series of his Biro fantasias. All the more reason to get to the ICA if you can. The exhibition runs to September 8th, 2013.

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Pole Dance (2005) by Cary Kwok.

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The art of ejaculation

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left: Sperman (2007) by Cary Kwok; right: Here Cums the Spider (2007) by Cary Kwok.

NSFW, as if you need to be told. It’s almost a commonplace of contemporary art that there are so many artists around today, producing such a volume of work, that any newcomer (as it were) has to find a niche and stay there if they want their efforts to stand out from the crowd. Cary Kwok’s niche seems to be the seminal emission which he depicts in a variety of ways, including showing various well-known comics characters shooting their respective loads. Kwok’s work has been shown recently at the Herald Street gallery, London, and Hard Hat, Geneva.

I like Kwok’s drawings, they’re carefully-done and funny, and serve to remind one that the cum shot is under-represented in art. Despite various Biblical prohibitions, women have been subject to no end of sexual display throughout art history, from copulations with gods in the form of animals to Danaë’s impregnation by Zeus as a literal golden shower. But male sexuality, especially at its most essential moment, has rarely been depicted outside the pages of pornography. The irony of this, as with arguments against erections in art, is that if it wasn’t for ejaculations we wouldn’t be here to discuss their pros and cons. Gay artists have been in the vanguard of addressing the sperm-drought, possibly because they have more than a passing interest in these matters; Michael Petry’s work earlier this year took a lateral view. There’s another sample (as it were) of Cary Kwok’s work below the fold plus some other seminal (as it were) artworks through the ages.

Update: Jack-Off Sculpture Sells For $15 Million.

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