Thursday, 9 December 2010

Tala Madani’s Sunny Side Up
I have walked past this large mural in Liverpool on numerous occasions, but it has never held my attention. It wasn't until I was shown it formally as part of a group that I even attempted to decipher what it was meant to illustrate. At a glance this piece looks like a simple line drawing,  an almost abstract pattern of contrasting black and yellow on a white building. On closer inspection it is apparent that the piece constitutes of two rows of men on their backs with their legs in the air painted in a bold cartoon style illustration, framing a yellow substance, potentially urine. I was quite surprised by this revelation, and although the piece isn't particularly offensive, I was increasingly aware that I was in the public realm, and began to question how this piece would appear through the eyes of a child.  The biennial website ( states -

' Men, in particular, are her recurrent subjects...parties, personal grooming sessions and other occasions for male bonding spiral down into bizarre scenarios in which men ritually abuse, humiliate and degrade one another.'

I personally thought there were allusions to homosexuality in this piece, what with the abundance of male genitalia hinted under the black underwear, lined up together in close proximity, combined with the merging of bodily fluids...if you catch my drift. Overall this piece didn't really do much for me. It wasn't until I was made to gather round it with fellow art students that I payed any real interest. Even then, I lost interested after a few seconds and wanted to move on to something more engaging.

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