• In Dubio Ludo
A painted series
The hanky code, originating in gay cruise bars of the 1970s, was a way of flagging sexual preferences without words. Wearing different coloured handkerchiefs, positioned hanging from back pockets, symbolized specific sexual fetishes or positions. Colours aligned with particular tastes in a shared common code; practical, sexy and politically assertive.
This new series of paintings uses this queer code of colour as a playful starting point for imagery: exploring the difficulty of alluding to the multiple meanings of each tone/preference within the same layered space. Sexual, bodily and classical imagery is hidden and mutated, aiming (rather impossibly) to align with both active and passive roles, whilst also allowing space for the paint’s fluidity to do it’s own thing.
Colour associations ask questions: the answers sometimes obvious, sometimes surprising. Yellow seems logical for piss-play but why is navy blue associated with anal sex or apricot with chubby chasers?
At a moment where precise visual coding is abundant and important, these paintings return to a code of colour that was anarchic, ever evolving and an invitation to play.