ARTIST:

Marcus Harvey

Marcus Harvey
Study For Broken Lock, 2000
oil, acrylic and fibreglass on canvas
198.2 x 198.2 cm

Created with paint and fibreglass impasto, Marcus Harvey’s Study for Broken Lock combines the idealised aesthetics of high art with gritty realism. The materiality of the painting’s textured surface draws the viewer further into the illicit scene, the desire to look heightened with the desire to touch. Using the mimetic qualities of his medium, Harvey chisels graffiti, and inlays ‘tiles’, and renders the loo bog-grimy; only the thin-stencilled lines give solidified form to his painterly composition. Flirting between abstraction and peepshow, Harvey resituates theviewer’s gaze as something voyeuristic and self-conscious.

Marcus Harvey
Half way up, 1993
oil on canvas
213 x 213cm

Marcus Harvey
Doggy, 1993/4
oil on canvas
213 x 213cm

Marcus Harvey
Dudley, like what you see? Then call me., 1996
acrylic on canva
198 x 198cm

Marcus Harvey
Go Go Go, 1994
oil and acrylic on canvas
244 x 244cm

Marcus Harvey
Ma Ma, 1995
oil and acrylic on canvas
230 x 230cm

Marcus Harvey
Myra, 1995
acrylic on canvas
396 x 320cm

Marcus Harvey
Proud of his wife, 1994
oil and acrylic on canvas
198 x 198cm

Marcus Harvey
Golden Showers, 1993
acrylic on canvas
244 x 244 cm

Combining the unlikely styles of hard-edged graphics and painterly abstraction, Marcus Harvey’s Golden Showers draws from the aesthetic associations of expressionism and pop. Capturing the violent energy of De Kooning’s women, Harvey sets his canvas in the field of psychological self-consciousness, pervading the image with unrestrained emotion. Overlaid with a sexy stylised outline reminiscent of Patrick Caulfield, Harvey’s painting balances between idealised glamour and guttural instinct.

Marcus Harvey
Julie From Hull, 1994
oil and acrylic on canvas
244 x 244 cm

Taking his images sources from home-brew porn magazine Reader’s Wives, Marcus Harvey’s early canvases use paint as a means to explore the concept of excess. Replicating smutty urgency, Harvey’s Julie from Hull is bathed in frenzied gushy pink, a dirty allurement promising fleshy debauchery. Using a heavy black line over a thick expressionist ground, Harvey’s graphic form becomes both container and barrier of over-indulgence, the promise of gratification monumentalised and ever distant.

Marcus Harvey
My Arse is Yours, 1993
oil on canvas
213 x 213 cm

Through his paintings Marcus Harvey explores pornography as a phenomenon of frustration. Using the instantaneity of paint, Harvey builds his canvases up as raw explosions, his brushwork capturing the urgency and sheer physicality of sexual fixation. Tracing over his gestures with images taken from top-shelf zines, Harvey places his desire in the teasing world of pop, uniting detached graphic image and aggrandised emotion as a parody of media portrayal and Pavlovian response.

Marcus Harvey
Readers Wife I, 1993
oil on canvas
213 x 213 cm

Depicted with the stark outlines of graphic arts and instructional manuals, Marcus Harvey’s x-rated reproductions become neutral instigators of interpretive response. Empty and generic, they offer sex as a commodified banality onto which all manner of fantasy is projected. Placed over highly emotive backgrounds, Harvey activates these images with tragic-comic fervour. The crotch-shot in Reader’s Wife 1 conveys all the excitement and pathos of amateur porn: clumsy, naïve, and filthy to the core, Harvey’s painterly response both mimics and exceeds pornographic expectation.
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