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Another boisterous and slightly hilarious use is found in Terms of Endearment (2011) by Trevor Guthrie of Zurich, a drawing featuring the text “I’d Fuck Me” in flashy rhinestone letters. The artist rendered his drawing after a photograph, reassuring us that this is not his original phrase but one from any other person. Tracey Emin’s People Like You Need to Fuck People Like Me (2002) offers similar social commentary where her use of the word exaggerates the intimacy and sexuality of the statement.

Trevor Guthrie, Terms of Endearment

Fuck is abused often in a derogatory context. The De Buck Gallery in New York features German artist Ruby Anemic’s Fuck You You Fuck (2010 metal cut-out letters) and Fuck You You Fuck (2012 neon lights). Many would chuckle at this phrase, but the content is assaulting – or perhaps it is only a play on words, but either way it calls attention and stirs emotions. Fuck exaggerates any expression, and in these pieces many would perceive a stronger negative emotion. The words decipher the piece, regardless of medium. The word ‘fuck’ in art may seem as a cheap or desperate way to express an idea. However, fuck, although overused, can be very powerful in different contexts. It could be extremely harsh or very endearing, giving any phrase that added jolt of emotion. It is a release of energy – just a word that feels satisfying to say when it is compulsory. Seeing the word visually evokes even more shock factor, in whatever way it may be interpreted. From aggression to sex to exaggerated emotion, I find fuck to be a very significant word in the English language, and that it’s use in art is absolutely relevant as a means of personal and social expression.

April 2012


COLLECT | Art + Design for the Curated Lifestyle  


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