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Portrait of Venfield 8
VENFIELD 8 is a pseudonymous artist based in Los Angeles, California, USA.
Although his identity is hidden, in various interviews he has admitted to being a fashion photographer as his "day job" for the past 20 years. He has worked for many fashion clients as well as several Conde Nast titles including Paris Vogue, Town & Country and Vanity Fair. He says he started to shoot as Venfield8 to free himself of the constraints of conservative clients. In late 2012 he started to post his work on the social media platform, TUMBLR, where he quickly developed a following and gained the attention of the Art and Fashion press. An exhibition of his work in Los Angeles quickly followed. Around the same time, his series of numbered posters of faux cologne ads “Essence Masculine” were posted in LA, NYC and Paris only to be torn down and traded on eBay, instantly earning him the praise “Banksy of Tumblr”.
His work predominately features nude men and is frequently finished in a fashion gloss reminiscent of magazine editorials or billboard advertisements. It can be edgy and provocative or lush and humorous. Described as "...if Helmut Newton photographed men the way he shot women" to " influences of Guy Bourdin and Chris Von Waganhiem - only with men". His Facebook page says " His art is a commentary on luxury, consumerism, race and masculinity"
From Full Frontal, by Calvin Hutchens: "Take for instance, Venfield 8’s most popular series to date called 'Designer Dicks'. They are exactly as you would expect, only more. In Venfield 8’s world of lust and consumerism, the ultimate status is label enhanced genitals. Why have something generic when upscale branding says something so much more. Presented as ads from a glossy magazine or billboard, it makes perfect sense. And that is what makes the work so striking – the sheer inevitability and sophistication of it. Feeding into a global hunger for all things designer by branding the most intimate part of your body is very 2020. Putting it on a gallery wall is very now. The images are fun, but not coy. Bold and yet subtle. The black penis used for Chanel’s 'Resort' collection is a commentary on race and colonialism that might go unnoticed by less astute viewers. Whereas a Guy Bourdin inspired Harry Winston ad will surely strike a chord with fashionistas. Interestingly, you are very aware that you are looking at a penis – but somehow, society’s emotional and cultural baggage that always surround such images is gone and is replaced by the association the viewer equates with a particular designer label. Shocking, these are not. Beautiful, strangely. Masculine, definitely. A quick perusal through Venfield 8’s catalog reveals an artist so confident in his masculinity, he doesn’t try to label it, or the manifestation or types, rather he just uses the symbols of masculinity as nonchalantly, but no less importantly as any other artist picks a color. In Venfield 8’s hands, (excuse the expression) the phallus does not provoke, does not threaten. It is not the subject of humor or derision. Venfield 8 just so matter of factly presents it, almost asexually and yet makes it still desirable – a feat that eludes most contemporary artists.'
2012–Present. Essence Masculine Series: Images featuring a prominent cologne bottle with nude male models in typical fashion advertising positions.
2013–Present. Designer Dick Series: Advertising of various fashion houses showing the penis, rather than full bodied models.
2013–Present. Candy Ass Series. Images of male butts, usually hirsute, covered in an edible food item.
2013–Present. Moonr8kr Short Film/ Photographs Series: A character based on the Star Wars trooper, features a mask made Swarovski crystal inspired by Damian Hirsts' for the Love of God.
2014 - Bear Hill Book published.
2015 - Duo, First edition of Object Weapon zine.
2015–Present. Meat The Press Series. Answers the question, "What if magazines put a nude male on their covers?" Includes various magazine titles both current and vintage.
2016–Present. Venfield8, Paris Series: Mock fashion ads featuring Venfield8 as a luxury brand. Shown as magazine ads and billboards.
2016 – For Your Gods a film by Venfield8 featuring Brian Maier