Pleasure & Sub Cultures – Documenting Melbourne’s Leather Scene

‘The wearer should fit the leather not the leather fit the wearer’.

Artist John Pastoriza-Piñol joins us to talk about documenting a particular sub culture of pleasure – Melbourne’s leather scene. In a homoerotic male context, wearing black leather clothing is a sexual self-expression of heightened masculinity, sexual power and an engagement in fetishism.

The leather subculture denotes practices and styles of dress organised around sexual activities that involve a wide range of leather garments. Wearing leather is one way these individuals consciously distinguish themselves from mainstream sexual cultures, where most associate the gay leather subculture with BDSM and flamboyant declarations of audacious individuals. Melbourne is a ‘leather’ city and this talk will provide an understanding of the ‘colourful’ world of the gay leather subculture in contemporary Australian society.

Presented as part of Midsumma Festival


About the artist:

John Pastoriza-Piñol is a contemporary artist based in Melbourne Australia and very much a neo-conservative a rebel as he works in the mode of botanical painting, long considered pure documentation and unconcerned with any social context. His practice departs from the precise discipline of Naturalism and continues to investigate not just pure dichotomies such as man and nature, science and art but their complex and dynamic interrelationships.

A visual and emotional duality is an overarching theme as his paintings inhabit a territory somewhere between scientific analysis and symbolic realism. The hyper-representation of the natural world is documented in such a way it creates a new contemporary reality.  It is a commitment to painting as both a method and as a form of deeper inspection. Each work is created masterfully as great attention is given to detail through exquisite painterly skills and ultimately reaches a greater audience.

Being a recipient of many awards and accolades has afforded him international recognition as one of Australia’s foremost contemporary botanical artists. His work is now held in numerous public and private collections around the world including: Art Gallery of Ballarat, Hunt Institute, USA; Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK; Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne; RMIT University and the Collection of Alisa and Isaac M. Sutton, to name a few.

His work is included in both the ‘Highgrove Florilegium’ and ‘Transylvania Florilegium’, projects created under the aegis of the H.R.H Prince of Wales’ Charitable Foundation. In 2016 John was awarded a grant from The Australia Council for the Arts and he is currently represented by Scott Livesey Galleries, Australia.

Image: John Pastoriza-Piñol, Leatherman, 2018. Image courtesy of the artist.


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