Now Showing: Cary Kwok at Herald Street

Writing about Cary Kwok’s work can be hard. It’s tricky not to lapse into Mill & Boon-type prose when confronted with a very enthusiastic penis. The artist’s latest solo show at Herald Street is overrun with them, but this isn’t just about graphic humour, it’s equally focussed on his immaculate drawing capabilities.

A step forward from Kwok’s earlier works of macho men depicted in moments of vulnerability — usually at the point of orgasm — his new series of drawings are still lead by hyper-eroticism, but this time sexual fantasy is manifested through decadent architecture. In a dramatic meeting of flesh and concrete, each work is an elevated architectural drawing or interior design, hiding or pronouncing a multitude of naked men and erect members.

Taking cue from styles and periods as diverse as the Tang Dynasty, Baroque and Art Deco, Kwok plays to the opulence of each movement. Executed in coloured ink and acrylic, each drawing is meticulously detailed. In one work, an Art Deco pavilion is supported by two gargantuan grecian statues-cum-corbels, their ejaculations posing as elegant fountains. Across the room, Homosexually Colonised and Cyberpunked, 2016 sees neon shop signs shouting ‘Bukkake Buffet’ and ‘C.K vintage’. Teasingly, ‘Herald Street’ is also signposted.

Peppered with historical reference, the exhibition humorously mocks the relationship between architecture and its long-lived obsession with masculine virility. You only need to look at the phallic high-rise towers dominating the London skyline.

Cary Kwok is showing at Herald Street until 25 September. All images Courtesy of Herald St, London. Photos: Andy Keate.

Well Prepared 2016 Ink, Pencil and Acrylic on paper 21 x 29.7 cm / 8.3 x 11.7 in Unframed 35.5 x 26.8 x 4 cm / 14 x 10.5 x 1.6 in Framed
Homosexually Art Decoed 2016 Ink, Pencil and Acrylic on paper 32 x 23 cm / 12.5 x 9 in Unframed 28.8 x 36.4 x 4 cm / 11.3 x 14.3 x 1.6 in Framed
Arrival (La Belle Époque) 2016 Dalbergia Odorifera Wood, Resin, Brass, Pearlescent paint, Wood Wax, Cable, Inline Switch, Lightbulb holder, Plug, E14 Lightbulb Overall:159.50 x 50 x 49 cm / 63 x 19.6 x 19.3 in Sculpture: 52 x 27 x 26 cm / 20.4 x 10.6 x 10.2 in Plinth: 107.5 x 50 x 49 cm / 42.3 x 9.6 x 19.3 in Ed. 1/6 +1AP
Pimp My Vice (Sottsass Style) 2016 Ink, Acrylic and Palladium Leaf on paper 22.5 x 15.5 cm / 8.8 x 6.1 in Unframed 26.8 x 20.5 x 4 cm / 10.5 x 8.1 x 1.6 in Framed
Homosexually Hijacked and Steampunked 2016 Ink and acrylic on paper 42 x 29.7 cm / 16.5 x 11.6 in 49 x 36.5 cm / 19.2 x 14.3 in framed
Homosexually Colonised and Cyberpunked 2016 Ink and Acrylic 51 x 36 cm / 20.1 x 14.2 in Unframed 56.8 x 41.5 x 4 cm / 22.4 x 16.3 x 1.6 in Framed
Homosexually Baroqued 2016 Ink, acrylic and gold leaf on paper 41cm x 29cm / 16.1 x 11.5 in Unframed 47.8 x 35.9 x 4 cm / 18.8 x 14.1 x 1.6 in Framed