Posted by: John | October 25, 2009

That `blowjob picture`

A bleak and highly depressing view of 80's Glasgow

A bleak and highly depressing view of 80's Glasgow

On what was my fifth organised OUT event to Manchester Art Gallery there are two pictures that seem very pertinent to today’s political volatility.

One of the paintings is by Glasgow artist Ken Currie called `at the edge of the city`.

It is a depiction of 80’s Glasgow that is so bleak as to be almost utterly defeating as a viewing experience. It is well-known in OUTeverywhere circles (LGBT social networking site) as `the blowjob picture` though we take no pleasure in saying that when analysing the painting.

On the bottom left is a figure that seems an amalgam of Churchill/Hitler standing well-fed and arrogant with a pathetically emaciated figure crouching. Witness the nationalist imagery that screams out an extreme environment whether it’s the swastika in the tattooists window, symbols of communism and Scottish nationalism.

The only positive activity is a man with a megaphone ranting extreme views (one imagines) in a car that is going nowhere. As a depiction of hopelessness hands are reaching up from the ground as books and tools for jobs are either falling into the ground or being shiftily taken away as an afterthought by the man on the right. It’s as if to say anything that is economically positive is abandoned.

This digital copy is ok though there is nothing like the real thing about which  the powerlessness could overcome you. Even the lights in the blocks of flats to the rear look menacing.

The staff do find it funny when we talk about the picture as `the blowjob picture`

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