Your History Is Not Our History
The first solo exhibition of Travis Larusson and Przemek Pyszczek.
LARUSSON and PYSZCZEK
Opening Reception, Saturday February 18, 6:00 - 8:00
Canadian, Berlin-based, artist-collaborators
Travis Larusson and Przemek Pyszczek.
The most influential homoerotic illustrations of the
20th Century were created by Touko Laaksonen, known as Tom of Finland.
These iconic works depicted a number of men, often soldiers, police
officers, bikers, and laborers with exaggerated anatomy engaged in sexual
activity. These libidinal, seemingly incidental, encounters occurred
in detached bucolic outcroppings and marginal interiors. The amplified
fantasy of masculinity, derived from existing rebellious heterosexual
subcultures, constructed the prominent archetype for gay men of the
With Tom of Finland as a conceptual agent, Larusson & Pyszczek present
Your History Is Not Our History, exhibiting a series of photographs,
paintings, and drawings bearing the same title. The works project, occupy,
and remove familiar content, avoiding the often reductive qualities
of appropriation and enlisting more expansive qualities of manifestation
and inquiry. Contemporary identity comes up against the constructed
identity of the past, with each side effected equally. History is not
negated, but perhaps mutated.
Larusson & Pyszczek’s execution of both the oil paintings
and the drawings match the incredible draftsmanship and skill of their
source material. Tom of Finland’s figures are re-drawn in the
silhouettes of the artist duo’s re-staging of the acts that take
place in the original drawings. The abstraction evokes a gap or partial
relation to the past.The ungrounded figures, highly rendered in graphite
and formally delicate, have a mysterious romance.
Tom of Finland created artwork that
greatly influenced Gay culture by challenging oppressive stereotypes.
Even with progress in Gay rights today, stereotyping continues in
entertainment and media, proving that a discussion about the diversity
of masculine and feminine role models is as relevant now, as ever.
– Volker Morlock, curator,
TOM OF FINLAND: Male Masterworks, Miami, 2012.
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