Irreverent, witty and a little smut-riddled, Stephen Floyd’s artistic agenda stands somewhere between hard-hitting, high-art irony and low-fi birthday card cartoonistry.
Entitled I Love America and America Loves Me, Floyd’s latest exhibition at the Heist Gallery, New York, takes the contemporary pop agenda as its own.
Channelling the spirit of an unassuming Andy Warhol, Floyd takes everything from panties and penises to boats and footballs as inspiration - drawing on common objects, themes and conversations to inform his refreshingly simple, yet provocative, sketches.
Multi-coloured; adorned with Floyd’s trademark bubbled-up text and with little left to the imagination - images of penises scrawled with ‘self portrait’ and pulled up panties bearing the title ‘camel toe’ provide some idea of Floyd’s penchant for all things low-brow.
Described by Floyd himself as ‘artistic masturbation’, the drawings are indulgent: compulsive, sketchy and imbued with a sense of mischief, the show could certainly be described as self-satisfying.
That said, with political undertones interweaved throughout, there are depths to Floyd's seemingly superficial work – a map of America scrawled with ‘condom nation’ is a particular highlight - leaving it up to the viewer to decide whether ‘I Love America and America Loves Me’ is high-colour art world frippery at its best or something altogether more sinister.