27/07/2019 - 17/08/2019

John Pastoriza-Pinol

John Pastoriza-Pinol
Sobriquet 12 - Crotch


watercolour on Arches 300gsm paper

20.00 x 15.00 cm


John Pastoriza Pinol

‘The wearer should fit the leather not the leather fit the wearer’.

In a homoerotic male context, wearing black leather clothing is a sexual self-expression of heightened masculinity, sexual power and an engagement in fetishism.

The leather subculture denotes practices and styles of dress organised around sexual activities that involve a wide range of leather garments. Wearing leather is one way these individuals consciously distinguish themselves from mainstream sexual cultures, where most associate the gay leather subculture with BDSM and flamboyant declarations of audacious individuals.

Pastoriza-Piñol’s previous solo exhibition, Nubile Perfection was also about sexual self-expression but of a very different subject matter – flowers - as outlined in the catalogue essay, “It’s all about sex” full stop. Whilst drawing on the tradition of botanical illustration, where scientific accuracy adheres to the Linnaean classification system, Pastoriza-Piñol literally turned up the volume, giving carte blanche for aesthetics to take over the gallery space in an explosion of colour and the sexual reproductive parts of orchids, lilies, peonies and irises.

Sobriquet extrapolates on these ideas but this time with leather. He re-presents the gay leather subculture of men wearing chaps, jackets, gloves, belts and harnesses by examining in detail the attractiveness of these garments. Each body part is like a flower in full bloom but in black. Pastoriza-Piñol continues with the same colour palette and labour intensive painting techniques employed for his botanical works, using numerous layers of watercolour with each layer requiring a full day to dry. These current works appear monochromatic but the black is achieved by using many different colours – primarily quinacrodones and perylenes- which offer subtle changes in hue and warm and cool tones.

Sobriquet is an extension on works that depicts various individuals, some of the artists’ invention, some friends and some chance encounters. These artworks are designed to engage with the audience on an intimate level. Cropped body torsos are on display as the viewer’s gaze is directed to a variety of erogenous zones. The influences of Mapplethorpe and Tom of Finland are present but there is no separation of flower and man – man is flower and is celebrated accordingly in Pastoriza-Piñol’s works. This hyper-representation of the fetish world is documented in such a way that it creates a new contemporary reality and is a commitment to painting as both a method and as a form of deeper inspection. In doing so, Sobriquet provides a deeper understanding of the ‘colourful’ world of the leather subculture and ourselves in relation to it in contemporary Australian society.

Amanda Ahmed

Morrison, G., Nubile Perfection: John Pastoriza-Piñol Catalogue, 2017, p3.

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