Darcy Williams

Icon Empowers Scripture, 2023

120 × 90 cm
This work is part of a larger series of paintings called ‘Vaseline’. As a body of work, ‘Vaseline’ examines queer history, iconography, and representation across time through the manipulation and re-contextualisation of images from vintage Beefcake magazines, figures from David Hockney paintings, and queer historical figures such as Saint Sebastian and Joan of Arc. The distribution of queer imagery and culture through Beefcake/fitness magazines during times of censorship served as inspiration for this series, which seeks to rescue and re-establish queer identity and figures that have been obscured from public consciousness. ‘Icon Empowers Scripture’ is based on a blown up image from a vintage mens fitness magazine, on which covert symbols were carved and painted. Within the space of figurative painting these may look like tattoos, scars or painterly play – however, they are designed to express queer specific language and iconography (Grindr speak, historical figures and symbols devised by the artist – such as the condom in barbed wire on the figures shoulder) which imitates the clandestine expression of culture in the original magazines. Viewers are encouraged to decipher the symbols and use them in the creation of their own stories and contexts.

Darcy Williams is an emerging artist and arts worker living and working in Brisbane/Meanjin. They make works centred around alternative history, art history, art historical languages and personal confessional experience. Working primarily in painting Williams seeks to combine and connect seemingly disparate part of history and culture and examine these new connections within painterly space. Considering painting and art making as a way of speaking without the rigours and rules of writing and public speaking as well as an extension of the body.

Williams Graduated Queensland College of Arts in 2019 with a Bachelor of Fine Art (Hons 1) and a currently works as a studio assistant to Richard Bell

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