Todays feature artist on the John Hopper site (http://djohnhopper.blogspot.co.uk/) is Terry Furry.
We live in a world never before stumbled upon, let alone imagined. We are more connected now as a species than we have been since our very beginnings, that small band of hominids in Africa that clung together for support, tenderness, love, and survival.
However, we also live in a world where we have never been more alone. The internet is a great vehicle for bringing humanity together as a community, but it also has the ability to isolate us as individuals, cut us off physically from the world we would once have physically shared with others.
This is a world dichotomy that a number of artists are beginning to pick up on, beginning to reflect in a wide-ranging field. It is an important moment in our development as a species, we are in transformation mode, and who best to document that transformation, than the artist.
Terry Furry is an artist that understands this world of connection and isolation, this world of friends and strangers, strangers and friends. It seems at times that we are no more than our present social media profile picture, that we are no more than a selection of body selfies.
We crave so much from so little. Do you adore me? Do you find my body irresistible? Am I funny? Cool? Am I lonely? So many individuals snapping photos of everything, and at the same time, of nothing.
Terry produces poses that are never merely physical, they are poses that are also fundamentally mental and emotional. They are haunting, they are landscapes of the haunted stranger. We physically show our ass to the world to be admired, but at the same time we show our vulnerability, our faulting timidity, our hesitation of self, our loneliness.
This is something that comes through in Terry's work time after time. On the surface his compositions may well appear to be raunchy, to be blatant, to be affirmation writ large. Here I am, suck it up! But take a look, a closer look, there is a sadness there, a pool of neglect that never seems to drain away.
We crave admiration, flattery. We want people to talk about us, to flirt with us, to tell us how sexy and dreamy we are. We practice the poses from porn. We freeze ourselves in the provocative. We pout to the camera, we extend and flex our bodies. We pass it off as fun, but there is an element of desperation, of a need to be liked, to be favoured, but above all, to be connective.
This isn't to say that Terry's work is a trail of tears and depression. He deals in heavy slices of irony, no more so than in the titles of his work, which very often veer off in a skewed and tangential path to the subject matter. They are heavy in sardonic humour, playing with some of the many aspects of the world we live in.
However, don't be fooled into thinking that Terry's work is all about surface, all about frothy titillation, tight bodies and sexual vindication. Look at his work with a little more space, a little more time, and understand that his compositions are markers to an age. This is important work, the future will see it as so. This is a fundamental moment in time, and Terry is there to document that moment, and we are grateful for that.
He shows us that above all we want and need people to love us in this age of the stranger, this culture of personal estrangement. We want, we crave, we demand tenderness, compassion, connection. We flaunt ourselves on social media expecting that it is our due, if you put out, you get results, right? But we very often end up with nothing more than transitory diversion. People laugh, they smile, they leave a suggestive remark about what they would love to do with us and our bodies, and then they move on, and we are left, a stranger in an even stranger land.
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