Maurice Vellekoop is a Canadian artist and illustrator who doesn’t shy away from the erotic or erogenous and for that we are thankful. His work can be seen in mainstream publications from The New Yorker to Wallpaper, but not necessarily the same subject matter.
This month, Maurice brings his work to our shores, and his show: Cockadoodle: The Erogenous Art of Maurice Vellekoop can be seen as part of Manchester Pride Fringe festival at Twenty Twenty Two Gallery in Manchester from 15th August till 13th September, and then over to Liverpool as par tot the Homotopia Festival from 25th October till 20th November.
Go see them while you can! The show, his first European solo exhibition brings together a wide selection of his erotic work alongside his editorial work.
The Manchester show has some exciting activities running alongside, including the artist himself discussing his practice in: Got Lead – Drawing Sex, Arousal and Desire.
I managed to get to quiz the great man recently, and ask some of the questions on my mind:
CJ: So, tell me a little about how you started in this weird and wonderful world of illustration?
MV: I began drawing at a very young age and was encouraged by my parents and talented older siblings, my sister Ingrid particularly. I idolised her and wanted to follow in her footsteps.
CJ: How did you arrive at your current style?
MV: In art school I experimented with a few styles, I had a very scratchy punk-inspired neo-expressionist phase for a while. My current style is simply the way I draw, kind of like handwriting.
CJ: Do you see this style as evolving? How do you see new media encroaching on older techniques?
MV: I still draw and paint on paper. I never saw the need to make the transition to computers. I can get all the effects I need the old-fashioned way…
CJ: What’s your favourite media to use?
MV: My favourite media are watercolour and gouache on paper. I love the chalky dry texture gouache alone produces.
CJ: Do you have a favourite subject matter?
MV: I love drawing people in all their multiplicitous eccentric variety – not for me landscapes or bucolic scenes.
CJ: Who are your favourite clients and why?
MV: My favourite clients these days are the ones who call! In the past I’ve enjoyed working for the New Yorker despite shockingly brief deadlines, American Vogue and Wallpaper. Fashion illustration is something I love to do but don’t receive many calls for anymore.
CJ: How did Cockadoodle come about? Who instigated it?
MV: It was the amazing Bren O’Callaghan who invited me to Manchester and arranged the venue, curated the selections for the show and has been a warm and generous host! Can’t say enough good things about the guy!
CJ: What’s your favourite piece in the show?
MV: Hmm, a favourite is hard, as there are so many different things in the exhibition. I do love “Somebody Always Dies at Christmas” a kind of fairy story scene. I feel like I created a , atmospheric, fantastical scene that would have impressed the childhood me.
CJ: Do you get involve in many Pride events?
MV: My bf and I have been running through the Toronto Pride parade in silly outfits for 12 years now. A highlight was the Hitchcock’s “The Birds” year, we dressed as 1960’s children and had mechanical birds attached all over our bodies!
CJ: And finally, whats next for you?
MV: What’s next is a graphic memoir titled “I’m So Glad We Had This Time Time Together”, to be published in 2016 by Pantheron/Random House. Wish me luck – it’s long!!
His site is here: