Yves LeatherGlory Hole Spy, 2021Barrel of aAK-47 machine gun mounted on a red plain, wood, plaster, spray paint120 x 120 x 200 cmYves Leather, Glory Hole Spy, 2021£ 12,000.00
Yves Leather, Inflated Pleasure (Inflated AK-47 Machine Gun), 2022£ 13,400.00
Yves LeatherSpider Rock in Arizona, 2022Oil painting on board in inflatable frame, oil paint, plasticine, metal87 x 57 cmYves Leather, Spider Rock in Arizona, 2022£ 6,800.00
Yves Leather, Stay Gold, 2022£ 6,800.00
Yves LeatherThe Sympathy Donkey, 2021Mixed media on wood, cardboard, oil, chalk, ink110 x 120 x 18 cmYves Leather, The Sympathy Donkey, 2021£ 10,150.00
Yves Leather is the offspring of the anti-aesthetic and the cynic. The by-products being self-deprecatory, observational and ready-made. Yves uses performance, print and photography to communicate these attributes to the voluntary spectator or the involuntary public. Such actions challenge the societal ideals surrounding human behavior, relationships and intimacy, by bringing it into a world of critical-fiction, fantasy and sometimes rebellion. The resulting discomfort is seen as an opportunity to engage with those who are outside of the art scene and be inclusive to modes of thought that are not universally accepted or mutually subscribed. Visually, this oftentimes represents itself through disjointed and unrelated spectrums of color that closely mirror the artist’s own cognitive nature.
Lives and works in Glasgow, UK
2022 ML Fine Art, Glasgow School of Art, UK
2019 Master of Curation, Goldsmiths, London, UK
2018 BFA Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford, UK
2015 Art Foundation, Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK
2022 PG Degree Show Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, UK
Don’t Believe Everything Yves Leather Tells You, The Pipe Factory, Glasgow, UK
Early Days, GSA, Glasgow, UK
Inner Conflict and Gayness, Barnes Garage Space, Glasgow, UK
2021 Fire Exit, Bath Ln, Glasgow, UK
2018 Ruskin Show 2018, 128 Bullingdon Road, Oxford, UK
New College Arts Week, The Stables, Oxford, UK
2017 Welcome to my Basement, Hallie's House, UK
N, St John Gallery, Oxford, UK
Hard for Hummus, Dolphin Gallery, Oxford, UK
2015 Night Show, Godstow, UK
Sexual Tension, Dolphin Gallery, Oxford, UK
2014 The Exhibitionists, Blackburn is Open, Blackburn , UK
‘Tol Trees Stage’ , Beatherder 2017, Clitheroe, UK
‘LOMO WALL’, King William Street, Blackburn, UK
MAP Magazine 2022, Glasgow, UK
JAART, Folded Issue 1 2020, Kendal, UK
Industry Magazine TT 19, Oxford, UK
Industry Magazine TT 18, Oxford, UK
Industry Magazine MT 16, Oxford, UK
The ISIS Magazine 16, Oxford, UK
Skill & Hard Work Issue 2, Blackburn, UK
Tell us about yourself. What is your background and where did you grow up? How have your life experiences shaped your work?
I was born in Blackburn, Lancashire. I’m from a middle class family, who always supported my artistic career from a young age. I’ve led a lot of different lives & I’ve had a lot of experiences, I’ve met many different people from all walks of life, and I’ve always been very open to new ways of seeing.
Why did you become an artist and what has been your journey up to this point?
I think if I could look back on a time when I wanted to be an artist, I couldn’t give you a date. It's always been there, especially from a young age. I remember being about 9 years old, and I found a book of Piccasso in the school library. There was a particular painting ‘ Woman with Loaves’ 1905. ( A painting of a woman with a loaf of bread balanced on her head.) I believe it is a painting that is often looked over as a ‘misc’ work. Misc works are very common.
I’ve had some rather profound experiences so far in my life that I believe contribute to my practice and thought process. The biggest I’d say was when I was hit by a car in 2016, whilst cycling. The psychological repercussions I still bear today. The near death experience has not been entirely negative, I believe it has helped me to realize how to care less about others' attitudes to my work. I find it difficult to explain, but I feel different than before. I feel less human, less real, more naive, like the outsider artists (Kandinsky or Klee). I do wonder if it's possible it as an event has caused me to become an outsider to art.
I visited Johannesburg in 2012 accompanying a documentary filmmaker as part of their team who were researching the ‘Father of Soweto’ - Father Emmanuel LaFont - a friend of Mandela & Tutu who lived through the apartheid and campaigned for change in South Africa. I went to research the apartheid, as I had little to no knowledge. I sought it at its heart, and witnessed its new epoch. It is difficult to talk about, for the state, welfare of the people & even tourism. There are serious ethical questions that need to be addressed. However I found a sense of open community and pride, not only on a local level but nationally.
For a while in my early 20’s I was interested in secrets, and lies, I knew someone in the armed forces at that time who introduced me to orchestrated lying on an industrial scale. That’s all I can say about it, I’m afraid.
Something I don’t talk about often but it does feed heavily into my work, is abuse. In my past up to recently I have experienced sexual and psychological abuse. It's something that burdens you in a particular way, that makes you feel helpless. However I think it's important, especially in my work, to highlight some of these experiences and talk openly about how they make me feel, on an everyday basis. Some of my work specifically is related to my experiences, such as: 5 Loads 2022, which surrounds themes of queer sex. Glory Hole Spy 2022, A piece regarding shared experiences of Gay Male Spas.
I think without the support and inspiration from my fellow artists (Andy Murray, Breakfast Garbowski, Ciaran Mac Domhnaill) in the Glasgow Art Scene, I probably wouldn’t have been public about my experiences, and my practice would be in a completely different place.
What is an average day in your studio like and what is your routine?
I tend to not have average days in the studio as each is entirely different from the last. Generally I take time to review and think over Ideas and compositions of the previous days. Either add or take away components of a piece as I see fit. I’m generally inspired in different and sporadic ways, which loosely connect however this can be difficult to follow.
What is your creative process?
There is a word I can never remember - Compromise. I don’t Compromise. Spontaneity without compromise is my process.
How do you choose a medium for your work? Do you prepare and plan or do you improvise and experiment?
I tend to pick whichever medium is closest, or whether there needs to be a certain texture or sound in the work, I invent or create a new medium to use for a specific purpose. For example the use of inflatable frames in my printing to provoke an anxiety of explosion due to air pressure.
Are your works conveying a message? Is there a narrative or a story to your work?
I Suppose they are a narrative of sorts, I was recently interviewed for a short documentary of my most recent exhibition : Target Practice at New Glasgow Society. By a Filmmaker - Ruby Cedar. During the interview I was openly questioning what I was trying to convey? In the moment I explained I had a deep sense of neurodivergent social Isolation within queer culture. Which I think is true as an Queer Autistic Artist I do feel Isolated not only in the art world but also in Queer Culture. Sometimes I just simply want to express myself without a literal sense, to cross the metaphysical plain and be heard. Although many of my works include contact of Politics, Conflict, Gayness, or Self Experisence. The Content of each Idea or Imagery is largely unimportant as I am continuously working on iterations or iterations of a piece. Again in a contradiction, My Work is largely reactive to the social and physical realities I see in myself. This can all be very overwhelming, I’d say the works I produce of painting, sculpture or printmaking act as a kaleidoscope to zoom in and flip over surroundings that would otherwise be incomprehensible.
As my practice develops, I suppose my mind set compared to when I was just starting out has changed, I’m more bold with my strokes and decisions. In all honesty I tend to care less and less about what the audience thinks, I make the work for me.. I believe it's my only outlet to be heard, to be seen, and it's a complete compulsion.
Who and what are some of your greatest influences in both your life and as an artist?
I suppose in the earlier part of my artistic career, I was more interested in the work of Andy Warhol, Picasso, The Young British Artists & Jake & Dinos Chapman. When I went to Ruskin and met new and more interesting artists such as Tom Woolner, Yongshen Deng, Brian Catling & Anthony Gardener my tastes changed and I took a curve off the ‘contemporary track’ into classical themes and historic arts. I was fixated on Francesco Goya’s series “ Los desastres de la guerra “ and the work of American Painter Cy Twombly, who was a great inspiration to me during my early 20’s.
My tastes changed, for a while I gave up on my art as most do post-University. I put my efforts and artistic skill into rebuilding a car, it was an ultimate disaster but in truth a beautiful sculpture. My mind did not rest, I ready heavily into Peter Wollen (Autotopia: Cars and Culture), Jeremy Deller (The Bruce Lacey Experience, Joy in People & Outsider), Leo Tolstoy (The Cossacks, Childhood, Boyhood & Youth), & Mikhail Lermontov (The Hero of Our time) to name a few. I also have to mention the work of Richard Wargner, Thomas Tallis, David Berman & Jeff Mangum who have greatly inspired my practice. Recently I have been more and more focused on day to day reactivity as inspiration rather than artists and influence.
Most recently after a return to education in Glasgow, I have been more and more focused solely on my own practice and inner self conflict for inspiration. However my tastes in contemporary arts do feel out of place to the current state of the Art World. I operate on a sense of dissociation which encourages my practice in its current state. I focus on my mental health, sexuality, and neurodiversity in their most complex forms. I talk regularly with Artist Andy Murray, & Curator Ciaran MacDomnhaill to discuss my current ideas, and further development of theoretical study behind the work.
Towards a New Intellectual Cosmos:A Reflection on Contemporary Forms of Expressions 15 Oct 2022 - 15 Jan 2023Daa Art is proud to present, “Towards a new intellectual cosmos: A reflection on contemporary forms of expressions”, an exhibition of captivating artworks that allure the viewer with rich textures and colours, unique practices and innovative techniques. The curated pieces demonstrate a variety of artistic mediums by which new norms, ideas, standards and values are articulated.Read more