24 year old Ariel Sexton-Shaw aka Love Ariel is an Australian born, London dwelling artist whose new show, Satan, Sex & Salvation takes inspiration from Australian model muses (Sophie Willing, Tallulah Morton, Jethro Cave) and as the name might suggest sex and violence. We recently caught up with Ariel to discuss Satan, sex, Pete Doherty’s blood and life in London.
You’re in London for your new show ‘Satan, Sex & Salvation’ can you tell us a bit about the show? Yes it’s a pretty dark theme focusing on the Goddess as usual but this time with a much more mainstream religious subtext highlighting the contrast between dark and light in a more intertwined manner. Like Yin and Yang – one cannot survive without the other. Mostly blacks, whites, reds and gold and a few of my models being men this time!
You’ve always worked closely with various muses can you tell us a bit about working with Tallulah, Sophie, Jethro, AD and why you chose them? Well I try to keep my work and life all bundled into one so I naturally gravitate towards beautiful, interesting people who embody the concepts I believe in. Sophie is a very strong tenacious woman I’ve known for many many years. Few people realise the depths of love and darkness that flow through her, but all these things just add more to a painting. Plus she is a friend so she will do things for me. Like taking off all her clothes, which is a lot to ask of someone really. Most people are so inhibited. Tiah Eckhardt is one of the only models on the scene that has the guts to do provocative stuff.
Jethro is a beautiful boy with the rage of a fully grown man pushed down deep inside, sporadically popping up to the surface every now and then just to rap about guts and cunts and maggots. Tallulah also came to me through Sophie recently, even though I had drawn from photos of her years earlier. This happens sometimes where it’s almost as if I “draw” people into my life! She’s totes down for hang time and that’s how we mesh. Bless her reckless little heart. A.D Andy Dale, I had a vision of him before I came here and I knew I had to find him and then there he was. It was fate.
How did you find yourselves all in London at the same time? Fate again. The first shop I walked into ended up being the home of BOYLONDON and 3 days later I had a free studio downstairs. Shit just happens when you’re on a roll.
You guys seem to get up to a lot of fun/random/surreal moments or as you described it â€ crazy fetish wild behaviour’ what have been some of the more random moments that you’ve witnessed in the past few weeks/month while on tour with your muses. The same shit everyone gets up to at parties, just with better props and hotter bodies.
Your style seems to have developed significantly from your earlier work? It’s more expressive and less constrained, has that been a conscious decision or just how your work’s developed? The concepts are conscious the rest is just evolved instinct and years of skill building.
Pete Doherty actually purchased one of your works, can you tell us about how you made that connection It’s a very small world once you get off the island.
Did you consider asking Pete to pose for one of your paintings? Maybe if he lost a little weight (laughs) no, Pete is beautiful, but he isn’t a muse, he is an artist. He paints and sings like me, and a lot of his concepts are blood related just like me. That is why we got along, the painting I did for him was just a simple Mary “Bloody Mary” just to protect him in his self-created snake pit.
You keep getting banned on Myspace/Facebook, can you tell us a little bit about that and any other censorship that you’ve encountered with your new works? Every time I post something really good someone gets offended or has a problem and it gets ripped off or my account gets disabled. I’m forever offending people and doing the â€ wrong thing’. Not just in my art, but with everything! People have a very warped idea of what is right and wrong in this world.
Any last thoughts you’d like to add? Life is about expression and experience, never deny yourself of anything. Never be afraid of what people will think, never be afraid to take a chance. Don’t quit and you will not fail, and love what you are- whatever that may be. Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder.
All Photos Provided by Love Ariel