Vulnerable in lace

From Anna Stielau on Pierre Fouché in ArtThrob

The triptych of lace panels that form the focal point of the show, ‘Duncan’, ‘James’ and ‘Stefan’, showcase Fouché’s dexterity in point ground lace but also use the visual fragility of the medium to compelling effect. Even on closer inspection, these oblique portraits evade the eye. Each male form seems caught in a shifting elliptical web of honeycomb tulle, but the silk floss appears less solid even than the flickering shadow it casts upon the wall. “These are really intense, even sculptural constructions,” as Fouché observes, but they retain a sense of surprising lightness.

A Mixture of Frailties, a pulled-and-drawn thread embroidery of pulled-and-drawn thread, similarly takes as its point of departure the interplay between images, intimacy and vision. Here, however, the central figures are the beautiful boys of internet porn. Fouché calls them his “fallen men”, they who have fallen from social grace to become “so fucked up, so drugged up they can’t even get a hard on” and to whom the title is a discreet nod. “These are the most explicit works that I’ve ever done, and they are quite scary in that sense,” he says. “That’s the thing about nudity. It places me as the artist in a very vulnerable state. I feel quite exposed by showing these works.”

Fouche lace

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