BELLWETHER is proud to present ION BIRCH The Young
"I began working from my own fantasies twisting and turning
them back on myself. They are a weird combination of embarrassing
sincerity and excessive self mockery; an exploration of guilt
and a vent for bawdy humor."
"The Young Penis" is an exhibition of new drawings
by Ion Birch. These 20 beautifully rendered works on paper
form an idealized and horrific orgiastic narrative. The content
is largely sexual but the sex seems more a metaphor for something
else, keeping these drawings from neatly falling into some
pre ordained notion of "erotic" art. An entire cast
of characters occupy the work: voyeuristic animals, disembodied
genitalia, sexually misshapen women and a boy faced version
of the artist himself.
Birch however remains weary of the perverse.
"My work is intended to question sexuality, an attempt
to get to the bottom of it. I've always been fascinated by
the unspoken rules of depiction. Why some things are not allowed,
why genitalia, especially female genitalia, is such a taboo.
You only see labia in Japanese Shunga or bathroom graffiti.
In fact I think of my drawings as coming directly from that,
adolescent dirty drawings par excellence - refined cultural
According to Birch, it is times like these, when words like
"evildoers" and"infidels" hold so much
moral and political weight, when Christian fundamentalism
and Islamic extremism are going at it head to head, that an
honest exploration of sexuality and the taboo is most necessary.
Birch¹s work drudges through the complex sexual psyche
of our culture, and in doing so opens up the possibility of
questioning morality itself. Above all Birch¹s drawings
are funny. Humor is the escape route, the way out of this
troublesome territory. "The Young Penis" straddles
the line between dirty joke and shockingly fearless confession.
BELLWETHER is an artist-run space in support of emerging artists.