:: Ganymede (Go Fuck Yourself Rembrandt) ::

Fuck Me    Oh Yes    Ganymede

:: 2020 :: 60cm x 120cm ('The Ecstasy In Me' Panel #3) :: Acrylics, Inks & Markers on Canvas ::

In the Graeco-Roman conception, Ganymede was a beautiful young man who was taken up to Olympus by Zeus to be the lover and cup-bearer for the king of the gods. This mythical image - particularly of being 'taken up' - resonates strongly with me not just for queer lives, but as an embodied experience of ecstatic gay sexuality.

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Like almost all life-affirming images during the Christian era, Ganymede was denigrated: this reached its nadir with Rembrandt's horrifying depiction of an infant Ganymede being snatched up by a giant, terrifying eagle. Rembrandt's homophobic intentions here are clear: the eagle represents homosexuality as inherently predatory, to be greatly feared as violent and rapacious - Ganymede is even pissing himself in horror - while the boy's infancy plays to an ancient slander of gay people as paedophiles, still broadcasted by modern queer/trans/homophobes, tinpot dictators looking for outcasts to blame, and all manner of religious conservatives to this day.

I find Rembrandt's painting to be a disgusting charicature of gay people, and a vulgar distortion of what was once a life-affirming Graeco-Roman image. My response is uncompromising: a delighted Ganymede in flagrante and in exstasis is raised by a winged Zeus in sexual congress. The tattoo on his raised forearm is no less strident. In Modern Greek we read: ΑΝΤΕ ΤΡΑΒΑ ΓΑΜΗΣΟΥ ΡΕΜΠΡΑΝΤ 'Go and fuck yourself, Rembrandt'.

Ganymede Go Fuck Yourself Rembrandt


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