This is the opening exhibition of 2015 at Space Station Sixty-Five (SS65) and, as long time readers and admirers of Maurice Vellekoop’s work, SS65’s directors are particularly happy to be exhibiting his joyful drawings. We hope that you will be as charmed by them as we are.
Vellekoop draws from a vast pool of tele-visual and filmic tropes to reflect wider truths and archetypes; their literary, historical and psycho-sexual citations redundant when these same bold outlines – such as in a child’s colouring book – are mirrored in the shadows of friends, family, lovers, idols and our own mutable reflections as we accrue and absorb lived experience.
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 comes at a significant moment, 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 Chipp Kidd, to be published by Pantheon Books.