Stunning Rococo-Style Paintings That Subvert the Heteronormative Gaze [NSFW]

Rococo painter François Boucher is known for his voluptuous figures and pastoral settings: fleshy women, gorgeous tapestries, and floral landscapes appear lush and erotic. Reinterpreting and challenging that Rococo style with a non-heteronormative twist is a new exhibition at Birmingham gallery Article, Obscene and Pornographic Art. The name comes from an ‘80s psych song by the band Bongwater. (Interestingly enough, songs from the same album, The Power of Pussy, aired on Playboy’s Hot Rocks, a music video show hosted by Jenny McCarthy.)

Obscene and Pornographic Art features UK artist Sadie Lee’s works, like her portraits of a stripped-down Holly Woodlawn, the late transgender Warhol superstar. Lee often explores gender, sexuality, and the aging body. Also included are Matthew Stradling’s nude male portraits, which pay homage to the 18th-century Rococo masters, emphasizing the textures of flesh, with references to gay and BDSM culture.

Obscene and Pornographic Art will be on view through February 11. Please note that our gallery preview is very NSFW.