AD Gallery presents the new solo show of British artist Steven C. Harvey, on Wednesday May 9th, at 20:00.
In the series of works entitled Love Poems, Steven C. Harvey incriminates politically correct opinions as well as any kind of romantic consideration regarding the historical failure of contemporary societies to protect the majority of their members. His works draw their inspiration from traditional English Nursery Rhymes and the corresponding books. It has been argued that many of them have a hidden origin and contain hidden notions. John Bellenden Ker (1765 - 1842), for instance, wrote four volumes defending that English Nursery Rhymes were actually written to express a strong aversion for the Church and the Clergy. Many ideas regarding the connections between poems and historical figures or events are also presented in Katherine Elwes’ book, The Real Personages of Mother Goose (1930), in which she relates famous characters of the Nursery Rhymes with real people. She made the assumption that many nursery rhymes constituted a special form of codified historical narration, of propaganda or covert protest, and rarely considered that they were written for mere amusement.
In the same way Harvey “borrows” the heroes of children’s books, of a direct popular speech that is understandable by everyone, to ironically mock the codes and traits of the politically correct. The main characters of his works, figures with direct references to fairy tales and innocence, surrender to sexual debauchery without an inch of shame. The painter thus creates anti-conformist images, which are perhaps an extreme form of romanticism.
Bobby comes to woo me
He brings me hearts and flowers
So now I’ll let him do me
Swinging with his hips.
His strong images, touching upon the limits of provocation, could serve as a model for a neo-punk iconography. They are nevertheless neither sexist nor violent. This role, as is obvious to anyone who has followed the work of the painter and his Vehicles series in particular, is assigned to the very functioning of organised societies.
Love is like a carousel,
With just this difference to tell:
The riders move, but the stallions not,
So round I go, but forget me not!