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  IAN BIRCH The Young Penis
Ion Birch
Jan 10 - Feb 10
Opening: Friday January 10th   
from 8-10pm
*followed by
(Grand and Havemeyer)

335 Grand Street
Brooklyn NY 11211

Fri, Sat, Sun, Mon, 12-6pm
and by appointment
Map & Directions

Spring is Here! Ion Birch Ghosts in the Park Repression or Nature, Culture and Art


BELLWETHER is proud to present ION BIRCH The Young Penis

"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 graffiti."

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.