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“Cockadoodle” Lands at Space Station Sixty-Five in London!


I’m thrilled to announce, “Cockadoodle, The Erogenous Art of Maurice Vellekoop”, my first overseas solo art exhibition, curated by Bren O’Cllaghan, which hung at Twenty Twenty Two in Manchester last summer, will be moving to Space Station Sixty-Five in London this February. The show will run from February 27 until May 2, 2015. I will be present at the opening on Thursday, February 26th. Go to the gallery’s website for more information in the future:


Here’s a picture of me and my fabulous, multi-talented curator, Bren, outside the Manchester venue, from last August. This is the guy who, after a chance meeting in Toronto, became interested in my work and, possessed of that magical combination of imagination and a Protestant propensity for hard work and getting things done, made all of this possible. Love you, Bren, and many thanks!!


And here’s me with one of the divoon Space Station Sixty-Five curators, Rachael House, whom I met last summer while traveling around the UK. She, along with her partner, Jo David, kindly invited me and my work to their marvelous space in Kennington. (Rachael and I immediately bonded over a mutual obsession with the Scottish punk band, The Rezillos!) Many, many thanks, SS65ers! So excited to see all my new English friends again. If you are in London, please come out to the opening: all are welcome!

3 More Renaissance Portraits + 1 Gainsborough









Right at the end of this just-over 2 day paintathon, I decide to leap ahead a couple hundred years and try my hand at a Gainsborough – his portrait of  Mrs. Grace Dalrymple. Well, the result has a bit too much of a paint-by-numbers feeling for my taste. Maybe next Christmas I will give the 18th century another try… Meanwhile, a very merry Christmas to all!

Christmas Cards 2014: 6 Renaissance Portraits


This year, for Christmas Cards for family, colleagues and a few friends, I drew and painted copies of some Renaissance portraits in gouache on coloured paper. Apologies to Giovanni Bellini, Piero Della Francesca, Antonio Pollaiuolo, etc…













“Cockadoodle: The Erogenous Art of Maurice Vellekoop” Dates and Program

Cockadoodle: The Erogenous Art of Maurice Vellekoop
Curated by Bren O’Callaghan

Cockadoodle: The Erogenous Art of Maurice Vellekoop is a flamboyant new exhibition that uncorks the Canadian artist’s contribution to illustration, underground comics and contemporary erotica. It will be Maurice Vellekoop’s first European solo exhibition with a wide selection of his erotic output on show alongside examples of his mainstream editorial work.

Vellekoop draws from a vast and familiar pool of televisual and filmic motifs to reflect wider truths, suppressed fantasies and classic archetypes, fashioning a unique visual signature that is at once widely marketable (commercial clients include The New Yorker, Vogue, Wallpaper, New York Times and Rolling Stone), yet unabashedly erotic.

Ripe for celebration, Vellekoop is a leading figure within an under-the-counter pantheon of artist-illustrators who trace their lineage to the golden age of powder-tinted girlie artists, from Alberto Vargas to Zoë Mozert and Gil Elvgren, to the leather-clad muscles of later male fantasy art, encompassing Tom of Finland, Harry Bush and Frank Frazetta.

The exhibition has been created at a moment of renewed significance as Vellekoop embarks upon a graphic memoir, I’m So Glad We Had This Time Together! commissioned by the Canadian Council for the Arts and edited by author and award-winning art director Chip Kidd, to be published by Pantheon Books.


Maurice Vellekoop’s Pin-Ups is his most successful book of explicit male ‘beefcake’ illustrations, the gay male equivalent of cheesecake beauties, inspired by vintage girlie art and featuring calendar boys, musical idols, sporting legends and figures from fantasy, history and literature.

ABC Book, An Adult Primer takes the form of a traditional children’s primer, complete with rhyming couplets, and re-imagines it for adults from a guileless, x-rated perspective.

Premiere of Transworld, a 16 page strip that features a North Korean, transgender air stewardess and a zipper-bursting encounter with a hunky Iranian male passenger, in an alternative spin on the temptations posed by the so-called axis of evil.

The World of Gloria Badcock follows the sexploits of glamorous, bisexual magazine editrix Gloria Badcock and her gay companion Dr. Cornelius as they travel back in time to the eve of the French Revolution, cavorting with courtesans and servants alike at the court of Marie Antoinettte.

From colourful characters such as Dame Formalda Hyde and Vatda Heck and references ranging throughout the history of opera to the heights of Wagnerian solemnity and the excesses of French spectacle, A Nut at the Opera is a droll satire of a fictitious operatic cornucopia.

Editorial commissions ranging from the Hieronymus Bosch inspired The World of Lustly Delights, cover art for No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics and English Eccentrics for Abercrombie and Fitch, featuring a Mad Hatter’s tea party attended by the likes of Quentin Crisp, Dusty Springfield and Alan Turing.


The exhibition is supported by a programme of events and activities that address notions of private shame, empowerment, sex-positivism and the often overlooked role of personal fantasy in critical cultural appreciation.

These will include the Manchester premiere of London nude literary salon Naked Boys Reading with the theme “True North”, a presentation by the artist on his practice with Got Lead: Drawing Sex, Arousal and Desire, and the Erotic Film Society presents an evening with Amory Peart, specializing in transgressive adult parodies of mainstream features, including The Bionic MILF and a biopic of Aggie Snatcher in The Iron Lady Garden for Television X.

Tickets for the above on sale shortly – links will appear on this page.

Cockadoodle: The Erogenous Art of Maurice Vellekoop, curated by Bren O’Callaghan, is supported by Arts Council England, Manchester Pride and Homotopia Liverpool.

Twenty Twenty Two, Manchester 15 August to 13 September 2014. Liverpool venue and dates to be announced.

Manchester, Here I Come!

I couldn’t be more thrilled to announce I will be having a one man show at Twenty Twenty Two, a music and arts space in Manchester, the UK, this coming August 14 – September 13, 2014. The event coincides with Manchester Pride and will feature gay erotica, comics, illustration, printed matter and possibly a bit of juvenilia (see above). This will be my very first major exhibition abroad and my first solo show in over 15 years. The exhibit will then relocate for the entire month of November as a key component of Homotopia, the giant queer festival in Liverpool.
For this marvelous news, I owe undying thanks to my friend, Bren O’Callaghan, of Cornerhouse/HOME, Manchester. It was Bren’s vision and determination that made all this come about. Many thanks are also due to Arts Council England, who generously awarded a major grant to facilitate the project. So excited!!!

The Days of Anna Madrigal

I was so thrilled to be asked to create this illustration for a review of Armistead Maupin’s final volume of his “Tales of the City” series, titled “The Days of Anna Madrigal”, for the New York Times Book Review, which appeared today. Thanks, Nicholas Blechman, for thinking of me!

Happy New Year 2014!

Here’s a picture of me and my fella with our sequined, Schiaparelli-inspired fascinators we designed and made for the Yabu Pushelberg Surrealist-themed Christmas party a few weeks ago.

By the way, if you have made a comment or request, forgive me if I have not posted it or replied: my spam filter here at WordPress is all higgledy-piggledy: I’m currently up to my eyeballs with over 65,000 unsorted knock-off handbag notifications. I hope to sort this out soon. If you’d like to comment on what you see or are interested in a commission, please click on CONTACT above and send me an email or call.

Wishing everyone a marvelous 2014!

Merry Christmas 2013

Last weekend I made another batch of gouache on coloured paper Christmas cards for friends and family. My first idea was to do paintings of elaborate cakes and food . I just couldn’t get them to work out, so I took a left turn and ended up with… Renaissance and Elizabethan jewelry! Of course, what else?

Merry Christmas, yall!

End of an Arena

Alas, the David Bowie show, which originated at the V&A and had its first stop at the Art Gallery of Ontario, closed this week (next stop Sao Paulo). It’s impossible to overstate the impact Bowie had on my youth and the show brought to vivid life all the reasons why. Like so many confused, angry and disaffected kids with a taste for the extravagant, the freakish and the other-worldly, queer or not, I found a balm and a refuge from the crushing boredom and cruelty of suburban life in Bowie’s music. Only Bowie seemed to speak to my own experience. “You’ve got your mother in a whirl, She’s not sure if you’re a boy or a girl”. I wasn’t sure either – Bowie understood.

I’ve loved and obsessed over Bowie’s many incarnations and I still marvel at the incredibly rapid succession of the personae: the trans-hippy David of Hunky Dory, Ziggy Stardust, the Thin White Duke, the plastic soul and Berlin periods, all in the space of what, 10 years? Amazing. In 1984, naturally, I was obsessed with the 1974 record Diamond Dogs: the album was inspired by Orwell’s novel. (What a thrill to see the original Guy Peellaert artwork, another obsession, at the AGO!) I began to imagine what was to be an epic comic inspired by Diamond Dogs, titled Glitter Planet.

The premise of Glitter Planet was: an oppressive world peopled by teen-aged, glam rock/punk/new wave fans that, like the Replicants in Blade Runner, only exists for a period of five years (the exact life span of Ziggy Stardust), before it’s obliterated by some cataclysmic event. The sole focus of this beautiful, doomed generation is to work and save enough money to dress and makeup outlandishly and attend stadium rock concerts: the only transcendent escape from their gray, downtrodden lives.

Bowie’s appearance on Saturday Night Live in 1982 with Klaus Nomi and Joey Arias had been a life-changing experience for me. This Glitter Planet performer was inspired by the boxy, Dada-esque costume Bowie wore for The Man Who Sold the World segment. (Jane Fonda as Barbarella appears on the tv on his/her chest.)

The profound influence Bowie has had on music and style is understood. In the 80s, at the height of new wave time, my personal assessment went further. People like David Sylvian, Adam Ant, Siouxsie, even Boy George, bands like Simple Minds, Spandau Ballet – in short, the entire New Romantic and early Goth genres merely reflected facets of experiments the Master had toyed with and discarded. Like Athena, these artists had sprung from Bowie’s forehead fully formed, ready to carry out the god’s abandoned styles to their logical extremes. In other words they were David Bowie.

I got no further than these concept drawings for Glitter Planet. I never did figure out that key component – an actual narrative and the whole project became daunting. Seeing the Bowie show reminded me of them and made me want to share…

Thank you, David Bowie. I don’t think I’d have made it without you.

Happy American Thanksgiving!

Here is a commission from The Boston Globe for an article titled, “Thanksgiving, or how to eat American politics,” by Rachel Laudan, author of “Cuisine and Empire: Cooking in World History”. Her piece traces the evolution of the ‘traditional’ turkey dinner as a kind of populist reaction against stuffy, aristocratic, European modes of dining. Sarah Josepha Hale, editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book (pictured bottom left) democratically proposed inviting children to join adults in a simple, nutritious meal that was a reaction against the fancy sauces and elaborate molded desserts beloved of monarchs across the Atlantic. It was she who persuaded Abraham Lincoln to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday 150 years ago.

A very happy Thanksgiving to all my friends in the US!