Lot 36 - Zach Toppin - Emperor Fiction
Lot 36 - Zach Toppin - Emperor Fiction

Lot 36 - Zach Toppin - Emperor Fiction

Oil on paper

2024

A6 (10x15cm)

Original Artwork

Signed on Verso

This auction is raising proceeds for The Hepatitis C Trust

Curated by Art on a Postcard

ARTIST INFO

About 

Zach Toppin (b. 1987) is a London based multidisciplinary artist. Toppin's work is rich in narrative, symbolism and cultural reference, weaving together important stories about emotion, gender, sex and love. Working across painting, drawing and sculpture they archive and reimagine queer histories, in order to construct new pathways of understanding for the present. Explorations into identity fantasy are borrowed from these ancestors, as well as through dissecting the historic construction of masculinity. Desire and longing are actualised through the fetishization of items, possessions, signifiers, relics; and by investigating this collage of desire, we find a way to navigate the dichotomy of trans unease and euphoria, and how to arrive at strength and authenticity via the armour of dress and signifiers. 

 

Education  

2023 

Drawing Intensive Term, The Royal Drawing School, London 

2008 - 2009 

Fine Art Foundation, Camberwell College of Arts, London 

2005 - 2008 

History of Art & Spanish, The University of Edinburgh, Scotland  

 

Group Shows 

2024 

London Art Fair, London, UK 

2023 

Tales from the Riverbank, London, UK 

Canal Boat Art Fair, London, UK 

Coming Out, Sunbury Workshops, London, UK  

 

Statement about AOAP Submitted Artwork 

 

Mytilian Love Scene is part of a body of studies forming the construction of a fictional archaeological discovery - The Mytilian Shrine. This drawing is a reproduction taken from one of the scenes on an amphora dated 500BC, found alongside new fragments of poetry attributed to Sappho. The artefacts found are incredibly important to our understanding of queer history in Ancient Greece, as for the first time we are seeing explicit sexual activity between women documented, proving the existence of lesbian sexuality at this time. The findings radically change our existing interpretations of the history of Greek vase painting and ceramics, to include evidence of love and desire between women. 

Emperor Fiction and F Loneliness look at the construction of transmasc identity through object-signifiers and historical guides; here though the seminal lesbian novel The Well of Loneliness of which we are given cropped fragments of the book’s cover, and on which sit selected rings. Referencing the history of queers wearing pinkie rings to denote their sexual orientation, these specific curios point to spirituality and role play; as well as bearing witness to the importance of identity building through symbolic objects within the trans experience. 

F Loneliness points to the depth of discomfort in feeling male in a female body. Watched over by the ghost of lesbian painter Gluck, these pieces of identity armour, taking the form of rings, nod to the importance of the spiritual, the magical, the fantastical within intergendered identity. The tools with which to believe oneself into the gender that sits inside the soul, but not the physical body. 

Emperor Fiction goes into ideas of fictional male identity tropes and role playing- here as Roman Emperor. The emblem of the emperor representing power and authority, here used to try to elevate the trans voice in society to a place of power equal to that of cis heterosexuality.”

Please do not bid on artwork in our Art on a Postcard auctions if you intend on selling the artwork after you have purchased it. This auction has been organised for charity; all artworks have been generously donated by the artists to raise money for charity. When a work is sold on the secondary market it damages our relationship with the artist and prevents us from fundraising.