William Copley And BFBC Inc. Join Forces For Sugary Sweet NSFW Exhibition, ‘Gang Bust’
By Priscilla Frank
William N. Copley was a proto-pop surrealist folk artist with a considerable libido. The whimsical provocateur began his lifelong affair with art as a dealer for surrealist giants Rene Magritte, Man Ray, Max Ernst, Joseph Cornell and Yves Tanguy.
Soon the late Copley, who alternately dubbed himself CPLY, began making art himself, channeling a folksy naivety in his erotic depictions. Plushy bodies tangle up against pastel patterns and precocious wordplay in Copley’s sundry, yet predominately white, painted worlds.
Enter Norwegian artist Bjarne Melgaard’s Big Fat Black Cock Inc., or BFBC for short, who is out to diversify Copley’s salacious oeuvre. The BFBC curated and remixed Copley’s paintings from 1950 through 1980, drawing from his pop-centric “Nouns” and self-explanatory “X-Rated” series. The BFBC responds to Copley’s work with reaction paintings rendered in Copley’s signature DIY style, with Caucasian bodies replaced with African American bodies.
Allen Jones, a contemporary and kindred spirit of Copley’s, will also enter the mix. BFBC will riff off of Jones’ iconic fetishistic sculptures, often depicting the female form as furniture, to provide context to Copley’s perverse tastes. Jones’ influence, together with Copley and BFBC’s physical works, conjures an amoral romp outside of an art historical narrative.
Venus Over Manhattan Gallery explains:
“Melgaard and CPLY are linked by their emphasis upon collaborations with other artists and their rejection of the status quo as it regards politics, sexuality, morality, good taste, good citizenship and the accepted values of the art world.”
“Gang Bust” will show at Venus Over Manhattan from April 11 until June 1, 2013. Are you getting excited for this decidedly dirty new exhibition? Let us know in the comments.