N.B. Originally published in ‘Pure Filth’ Issue 1, edited by Sam Harris, released October 2019
When the contemporary artist Sam Harris presented his latest artwork to an elderly relative for her approval she was able to sum it up in two words; “Pure Filth!”. This now infamous utterance has been reclaimed and becomes the title of this collaborative publication.
Featuring original artworks from a wide community of artists, designers and creatives, ‘Pure Filth’ exists as a compendium for the most contentious, intoxicating and downright filthy artworks the current contemporary art scene has to offer!
Established, veteran artists such as Duggie Fields, Bob and Roberta Smith and Gilbert and George – whose notorious early self-portrait entitled George the Cunt and Gilbert the Shit acted to preempt any disapproval or judgement – shared the pages with young, emerging artists such as Ant Hamlyn, Ariane Hughes and Philip Gerald, whose crudely bootlegged art historical masterpieces often feature their subjects urinating or defecating. Artists who made their name in the underground street art and graffiti scenes, such as Isaac Cordal, David Shillinglaw and Slinkachu, join those renowned for their unique choice of material, such as Benjamin Murphy (black electrical tape on glass, typically), Henry Hudson (plasticine) and Chemical X (ecstasy pills). Work by comedian, Great British Bake Off host and artist Noel Fielding sits alongside that of conceptual artist Joe Sweeney, whose anti-Brexit phone box installation +44 ‘Leave a Message for Europe’ made national headlines.
Perhaps ‘Pure Filth’ could serve as an antidote to the current climate of censorship, scandal and outrage addiction, or at the very least act as a bastion for artistic expression, unbridled creatives and much-needed humour.