The Work of John Currin

Known for his provocative, satirical paintings based on porn stills, vintage advertising imagery and renaissance art, John Currin makes controversial and sometimes reactionary political statements in his work.  His accomplished classical technique sways into that of a garish cartoonist and creates visions that seem sickly sweet and grotesquely kitch yet possess the seriousness and weight inherent in all great works of art.  His female subjects are often stately-looking and elegantly long-necked and he exposes their darker, debauched side in his lavish nudes.  Currin’s work definitely retains a sly sense of humour and his sirens seem to knowingly straddle the explicit imagery of the modern age and the idealistic ceremony of renaissance paintings.  The exaggerated and sometimes hyper-sexualised bodies that flaunt and pose in each painting both attract and repel the viewer.  Their distorted features fascinate and tantalise their audience.  Currin’s voyeuristic view point is also a rebellion against what he sees as the threat of a religious, fascist culture which has a growing presence  in our society.  His work, a strangely defiant statement of freedom and beauty against censorship and inflexible restriction.  His mannerist style of composition and explicit choice of subject matter results in a sumptuous and opulent aesthetic and provokes searching questions about the role of female imagery, censorship and artistic conventions.

Thanksgiving 2003 by John Currin born 1962 john currin the-old-fence-john-currin-1999-1347126994_b john-currin-1 john currin 8 john currin5 john currin0031_jpg_470x786_q85 john currin6 john currinodalisque-john-currin-2 john currin7 john currin8 john currin stamfordafterbrunch john currin 3

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