The Drawers - Robert Farmer   Commentary written by Julie Oakes

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Weird Queer Freaky Xmas

Robert Farmer is a modern day surrealist with a pop bent. The background has bled through and the bedroom has been overrun with copulating bunnies. The wet dreams of the innocent have become part of the wallpaper - almost unnoticeable. The overall design made by the shadowed pink and blue clad carousers forms an abstract lacy web over the surface of the aged paper and lulls the awareness of the permutations into a comforted sense of quiet decency.

Farmer has used paper bases before with geography appearing like veins beneath the semi transparent skin of the well rendered characters that make up his particular narrative. These works on paper step up the energy of the action depicted. Now that the human resemblance is less dominant, overtaken by bunny bodies, the only human tendencies exhibited are in their imaginative positions for the animal world doesn't employ the props and playthings as these bunnies do. The bunnies at one time were merely witnesses to the madcap world of Robert Farmer. Their references more nave, they had sat at tea parties in the company of baby faced guests, marveled at the hot dog served for the last supper or been present, and perhaps in collusion, when the teddy bear humped the pussy cat. More than one bunny has lost its head over the strange state of affairs, but never before have they appeared with such fornicating force - crowds of bunnies getting it on with an overall frantic feeling of What are those bunnies up to?!

There is a formlessness to their bodies that belies the sexuality being enacted. Like androgynous figurines, they appear to be made of a malleable substance similar to bubble gum. Their shapeless clothes recall gum wrappers and the overall color scheme of pink (for a girl) and blue (for a boy) reiterate the hermaphroditic allusion. Robert throws in accents of other characters such as a snowman in a cowboy hat, a gay reference to the archetype of a queer cowboy hooker. Since he has carrots serving as dildos, the erect nose of the blue snowman, launched into an upturned bunny body, furthers the reckless atmosphere of wild orgiastic abandon. Cavorting with the glee of propagating and adding twists of bondage to the naughtiness, Robert Farmer's bouncing characters play out their sexual fantasies against a backdrop of delicate wallpaper and within their lacy layout they appear as harmless, delightful and seductive as safe sex.

Copyright 2007,  Julie Oakes