Artist PHILIP HARE continues to be a dynamic force in Toronto’s art scene, and for over the past three decades, an iconic influence in my queer life. In many ways, he is my beloved, moonfaced lover and muse. My heart, my friend.
It’s been a continuous delight to follow Philip and his wild boy magical phallic journeys. From his Flying Phallic Weenie Mandala made especially for the Gay Vision Conference in 1991 (where he also helped mark/market the event in a splendid photoshoot with mutual friend/artist Michael Baker), to his intricate paper cut-outs in Towel Hag, passing time as a gay bathhouse attendant at the legendary Barracks, to other ‘sacred’ installions (Sweat Lounge, Totems), and his love of fabric and sewing (Wild Boy Blankie, Woodland Fairies, XoXoX and Terrorist series), including the recent Little Terrors at Propeller. His work always brazenly, unapologetically, sexually, queerly, rejoices in its penis-loving nature/source. Each successive piece inviting others to join in, to enter, to play with him.
Receiving the invite to his latest exhibit, I saw that he was still mining the riches from his terrorist/mask period, but didn’t know just how mischievous they would continue to enchant, disarm, and make me laugh from my belly (Nobody Knows I’m a Cocksucker, 2015). Timely. Iconic. True to form and artist.
Dear Philip, my life/world is so much sweeter with you than without. Fucking brilliant. Play on, sweet man. And thanks.
Photos: KIRBY (from the exhibition, PHILIP HARE Little Terrors, Propeller Toronto.