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Famous artworks get non-heteronormative makeover in new exhibition

For those in Birmingham, England, it’s time to go artsy… with a twist, as famous artworks will be given a graphic twist as part of a new exhibition exploring relationships, gender and sex. Birmingham School of Art will host the ‘Obscene and Pornographic Art’ show, which will see an erotic makeover to the paintings by French artist François Boucher and nude male portraits.

For those in Birmingham, England, it’s time to go artsy… with a twist, as famous artworks will be given a graphic twist as part of a new exhibition exploring relationships, gender and sex.

Birmingham School of Art, part of Birmingham City University (UK), will host the ‘Obscene and Pornographic Art’ show, which will see an erotic makeover handed to a series of 18th century Rococo style paintings by French artist François Boucher and nude male portraits.

The title of the exhibition is taken from a song by Bongwater, a 1980s USA psych-rock band, and highlights the exhibition’s aim of challenging audiences about what is considered to be obscene or pornographic by today’s standards.

UK artists Sadie Lee and Matthew Stradling will be contributing their works, which will be on display in the School of Art’s ARTICLE Gallery on Margaret Street until February 11.

“This exhibition is about artists who explore genres of art such as Portraiture and the Nude and re-interpret that history from a non-heteronormative position,” said Mona Casey, course director in MA Contemporary Curating at the School of Art, and director of ARTICLE. “Some of the images on display are explicit but they all play an important role in creating what is a fantastic, if challenging, representation of relationships.”

Also among the paintings on display will be a series of portraits of Holly Woodlawn, recently deceased, transgender actress and Warhol superstar, who appeared in such movies as ‘Women in Revolt’ and ‘Trash’ and also known as the ‘he who was a she’, in the Lou Reed lyrics of ‘Walk on the Wild Side’.

Sadie Lee is famed for her artwork exploring female representation in art, particularly focusing on gender, sexuality and the aging body.

Matthew Stradling has exhibited internationally, with many of his works exploring sex, death and the human body. 

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‘Thank You’ (Dying Slave) and ‘The Pearl Necklace’ (Lucretia) by Matthew Stradling
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The Pearl Necklace

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