Arts & Culture
Artist Wesley Harvey on homoeroticism, dinnerware, and bunnies
Published: June 29, 2011
So you bought premade porcelain plates?
Yeah, up until these three cups, everything’s been commercially produced.
And then a lot of found stuff?
And a lot of the found plates, too.
Santa Claus. And stuff like that?
Yeah, and The Alamo. So I had this whole dinnerware set going and those were part of it, the tea set up there, the tea- and coffeepot. But they’ve been changed now.
So you add to them?
I added more flowers and outlined them in silver luster. And so I had all this dinnerware, it was like a 45-piece set. And I was thinking, you know, how am I going to display this in a gallery? I hadn’t made anything that big before. So I was at a friend’s house having dinner and I was looking at her mom’s table and I was just like, “Wow this is a really nice table — it’s antique, it’s very well made, it’s clean.” And I just asked her, I said, “Lucy, can I borrow this?” And she said, “What for?” And I said, “To use as a pedestal for a show.” And she let me, so that was the start of it. So that’s kind of how it happened. And it got great feedback from everyone in the community. It made me want to do more.
So it didn’t irritate anyone?
Nobody got irritated, which I was really surprised by. The gallery was kind of worried, they put a sign up that said, “X-rated material around the corner.”
Did you sell much from that show?
I didn’t sell anything from that because I priced it as one set.
Which was how much?
Thirty-five hundred at the time.
And that was without the table?
Without the table. The tag said, “Minus table.” Although Lucy was like, “If you sell it for ten grand, you can just give me a cut and you can sell the table.”
Did she come to the show?
Uh huh, and she liked it, yeah. The next show was at Fl!ght last September and everything was found at thrift stores in San Antonio. Justin asked me to do the show and he wanted it dirty.
And I know you sold all of that.
What about your show at Three Walls? How well did that sell?
That sold pretty well. I had six plates and I sold all those, but then the Three Walls show I wanted to be a little different from Fl!ght. I went back to the commercially produced porcelain for the plates, and then I did porcelain tiles that I collaged and then framed. So I wanted it to not be a bunch of plates again and so I went to this kind of collage-paintings.
Are you nervous that the Tom of Finland people will come after you?
They’re clearly Tom of Finland. And when people tell me, “Oh I love your drawings,” I make it clear that these are not my drawings. And I give him credit for that, but none of them are the original straight scans from the book and then put on my ceramics. I go into Photoshop and take out parts of the images … But I am a little nervous. Always. And I feel like, what’s the worst that could happen? They’ll just tell me to stop.
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