Exhibitions

Guy Allott Men with pipes
January 20 – February 24, 2024

Opening reception Friday, January 19, 6–9 pm
Artist Talk Wednesday, February 21, 7 pm

Press release
Catalog of works

Contemporary Art Library
INDEX WEEKLY
KUBAPARIS


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❮❮ Men with pipes serves as a powerful visual exploration of the multifaceted subculture of chemsex, capturing both the allure and the darker aspects that accompany it. Through his masterful brushstrokes and keen artistic vision, Guy Allott invites viewers to delve into the complex nuances of this evolving social landscape.

The inspiration for the Men with pipes series comes from a long history of depicting smokers in art, and especially the iconology of smoking in the pre-modern and modern era, with Van Gogh, Picasso, Cézanne, and Munch as the genesis for this painting project. ‘It was a period when oral and genital satisfactions became confounded, and desire blended with hostility’ (Dolores Mitchell). Yet Allott’s Men with pipes have to be seen in a contemporary context. If you look at their glass pipes, they are obviously tied to drug use, and as we learn from the artist, more specifically to sexualised drug use, also known as chemsex. In the last decades chemsex has become an established practice among gay subcultures (especially in London and Berlin), to enhance sexual experiences with other men.

As the taboo topics surrounding sexuality and recreational drugs come together and inform Guy Allott’s concept of portraiture, he aims to preserve anonymity whilst giving a voice to people from an underground scene, and ultimately raising awareness of this phenomenon. In the context of the gallery’s recent group show Unputdownable, the artist wrote: ‘My friend Simon Watney had emailed and suggested I read some things including the obituary of David Stuart (1967—2022) which I was pleased to do since he was a HIV activist and global campaigner to help reduce the risks of chemsex on the gay community, and who were ultimately the very people I had made imagined portraits of over the last few years.’

In the exhibition, the suite of portraits is complemented by a small number of canvases made at the same time as the Men with pipes, as well as The Side Door from the artist’s previous exhibition at Mountains which acts as a baton between the two shows. ❯❯ (from the press release)

Photos by Julie Becquart


Guy Allott, Young Man with Pipe (Men with pipes I), 2021 · Oil on canvas · 30 × 25.5 × 2 cm / 11.8 × 8.9 × 0.8 in · Unique


Guy Allott, Man with Pipe (Men with pipes II), 2022 · Oil on canvas · 40 × 30 × 1,5 cm / 15.7 × 11.8 × 0.6 in · Unique


Guy Allott, Portait for Malcolm (Men with pipes III), 2023 · Oil on canvas · 29,5 × 21 × 2,5 cm / 11.6 × 8.3 × 0.9 in · Unique


Guy Allott, The Boy Who would work it all out a lot later (Men with pipes VI), 2022 · Oil on canvas · 50 × 40 × 2,5 cm / 19.7 × 15.7 × 0.9 in · Unique


Guy Allott, Ophelia in Drag (Men with pipes XIII), 2022 · Oil on canvas · 45 × 35 × 1,5 cm / 17.7 × 13.8 × 0.6 in · Unique


Guy Allott, Ben’s Son, This is another soul, this is not or ever was the man – that calls himself Ben’s Son (Men with Pipes IX), 2022 · Oil on canvas · 46 × 35,5 × 1,5 cm / 18.1 × 14 × 0.6 in · Unique


Guy Allott, Man with Pipe (Men with pipes X), 2023 · Oil on canvas · 45 × 35 × 2,5 cm / 17.7 × 13.8 × 0.9 in · Unique


Guy Allott, Men with Hair on Fire (Men with pipes XII), 2024 · Oil on canvas · 45 × 35 × 2,5 cm / 17.7 × 13.8 × 0.9 in · Unique


Guy Allott, Boy with Pipe (Men with pipes VII), 2022 · Oil on canvas · 30.5 × 25 × 1,5 cm / 12 × 9.8 × 0.6 in · Unique


Guy Allott, Man with Double Pipe, 2022 · Oil on canvas · 46 × 35 × 1,5 cm / 17.7 × 14 × 0.6 in · Unique


Guy Allott, Boy with pipe (Men with pipes V), 2022 · Oil on canvas · 50 × 40 × 1,5 cm / 19.7 × 15.7 × 0.6 in · Unique


Guy Allott, Man with Monocole (Men with pipes VI), 2022 · Oil on canvas · 31 × 23 × 1,5 cm / 12.2 × 9.1 × 0.6 in · Unique


Guy Allott, Men with Pipe on the Heath at Night (Men with pipes XI), 2022 · Oil on canvas · 30 × 22.5 × 2 cm / 17.8 × 8.9 × 0.8 in · Unique


Guy Allott, Untitled (The Sword), 2023 · Oil on canvas · 150 × 120 × 3 cm / 59 × 47.2 × 1.2 in · Unique


Guy Allott, Torches in the Forest, 2021 · Oil on canvas · 71,5 × 61 × 2 cm / 27.9 × 24 × 0.8 in · Unique


Guy Allott, The Lost New Balances of Hamstead Heath, 2023 · Oil on linen · 40 × 35 × 2,5 cm / 17.7 × 13.8 × 0.9 in · Unique


Guy Allott, Knowledge + Compassion, 2023 · Oil on canvas · 54 × 35 × 2,5 cm / 21.3 × 13.8 × 0.9 in · Unique


Guy Allott, Pheasant (For Morpheus), 2023 · Oil on canvas· 90,5 × 60 × 2,5 cm / 8.5 × 6.1 × 0.9 in · Unique


Guy Allott, His Edges (Owl), 2020 · Oil on canvas · 54 × 35 × 2,5 cm / 21.3 × 13.8 × 0.9 in · Unique


Guy Allott, The Side Door, 2020 · Oil on linen · 65 × 55 × 2,5 cm / 25.5 × 21.6 × 0.9 in · Unique