Search

Tal R’s Sexshops explore roots of desire at Victoria Miro Gallery

PUBLISHED: 12:00 07 September 2017

Dirty Dicks by Tal R. Credit: Tal R

Dirty Dicks by Tal R. Credit: Tal R

Archant

A new exhibition looks behind the facade of desire

Why do we like what we like?

This is the question Copenhagen-based artist Tal R explores in his upcoming Sexshops exhibition. In a bid to push the viewer to think about the roots of desire, the collection focuses on the exterior facades of sex clubs, massage parlours, strip clubs, adult theatres and other red light establishments from around the world.

The works, based on photographs, examine the largely unconscious actions of seduction and gratification. This means that the artist and the viewer are both shut out by closed doors and frosted windows, and can only but guess at the worlds beyond the surface of the canvas.

The paintings confirm that, whether in Antwerp, Prague, Tel Aviv or LA, these venues have remained largely untouched by corporate identity and exist in a parallel world of homespun graphic design. If you look closely you’ll be able to spot hints of the Parisian Belle Époque architecture in the façade of Dirty Dick, a former hostess bar in Paris that is now a cocktail bar. More often, though, it’s impossible to tell where the venues are located.

As the artist says: “The fascinating thing for me about Sexshops is the idea of something being withheld, and the link with how painting operates similarly in that it’s the surface that invites you in. There is a weird parallel between any façade and a painting: both of them are a flat surface but they promise a three dimensional experience.”

The compositions are stripped-back, and the artist’s ability to seduce and engage takes centre stage. Yet the exact nature of the experience, what turns us on as viewers and why, remains part of the essential mystery of painting.

“Most people don’t really choose what they find attractive, or what they reach out for,” Tal R says. “It is somehow constructed in their upbringing and unconsciousness and it’s the same with painting. In the end you reach out for what speaks to you.”

Some serious soul-searching is on the cards, and this is an excellent place to start.

Tal R: Sexshops is on at the Victoria Miro, 16 Wharf Road, N1 7RW. Opens September 20.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington Entertainment Stories

Fri, 12:28

Chelsea Clinton and local poet Jan Nobles appear at this year’s Stoke Newington Literary Festival

Mon, 14:48

The Star is hosting a bank holiday street party to celebrate a decade since its launch in Bethnal Green Road.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

BBC presenter Zeb Soanes launches children’s books series inspired by his close-up encounter with an Islington fox

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Cally man Dan Storey gave up art at 15 despite loving it. Now 42, he tells the Gazette about his first exhibition, which is running until June.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Fostering older teenagers means giving them the skills for life as an adult. Here, a supportive lodgings carer with Islington Council and young adult who has left care share their stories

“I try and do my best to enhance the young person’s capabilities. I’m very focused on their education, their wellbeing and their cultural needs.”

Newsletter Sign Up

Islington Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read entertainment

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now