06 Nov 2019—24 Nov 2019
Benjamin Baker’s work is a queer, direct look at the nature of intimacy in a contemporary age. Set in intoxicating, often chromatic scenes, smoky, steamy fractures from pigment pulled and laid to illuminate fleshy forms draw each subject forward and away from the viewer. This tension of the nature of Queer encounters that are had in spaces designated for discreet sexual practices are explored alongside Baker’s own experiences of the distorted, isolating discourse by which we regard gay sex practices in mainstream dialogue. In this space, discussions of gay sex practices are often politely made palatable or minimised away from reality – forever held in the shadow of decay and disease of the post-AIDS mentality. Baker’s brushwork is both opulent and scarce – advocating for these conversations around intimacy, partnership and complex social relationships to be held under the kitchen light; these same normal, quiet sparse rooms – made magical – able to open up through the inclusion of these ideas where collective dialogue debunks stigma, encouraging a different trajectory of thought. In a quiet, reflective gallery space, we can contemplate the insight of the importance of these spaces and these sex practices which are not fully understood by broader society. These anecdotal works span across a variety of mediums and encourage a non-judgemental, playful interpretation of Queer sexuality and curiosity that has no attempts to reduce itself – garish turns gramarye turns gay; an attempt to perceive these places and behaviours as necessary to the development of healthy expressions of intimacy.
Documentation by Jordan Halsall.
Images courtesy of Benjamin Baker.