Sunday, August 28, 2011

Laydeez Do Comics

Photo by Mike Medaglia:

Last Monday, I gave a short talk at Laydeez do Comics in London, which is quite possibly my favorite comics forum at the moment, with a varied range of speakers, a very relaxed atmosphere and exceptionally good cake. It's also the first time I've done a question and answer session about The Lengths, rather than an interview for broadcast, so it was really refreshing to be able to face questions I think I might have shied away from on air or in settings where I don't know who's listening.

Talking quite openly about the degree to which The Lengths is emotionally autobiographical and is based around my own experiences in the sex, drugs and muscles section of the gay scene was surprisingly cathartic, given that the comic isn't directly about me. To be asked questions about how the masking effect of using the dogs in the comic allows me to be more honest was disarming and started a conversation about how so many of the themes in the comic that are stereotypically gay - the attitudes to sex, relationships, drugs and self-esteem - are nothing to do with being gay or being a prostitute, but that they're actually pretty standard.

So between that and the wonderful discussions around the other artists' work there that night, I've been in the studio this week and setting up my exhibition at Camberwell with a renewed sense of resolve and clarity about why I do what I do, which is a brilliant place to be.

Just a quick reminder: The discount code ILOVELONDON for 15% off at the web shop ends tomorrow.

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