Portrait of Venfield 8
VENFIELD 8 is a pseudonymous artist based in Los Angeles, California, USA.
It is known that as a fashion photographer he has been working in the industry for about 15 years shooting for varied publications, from independent magazines to Conde Nast titles. In the few interviews he has granted, he says he started Venfield 8 as a way to get away from art director, agents and conservative clients always looking over his shoulder – he says he wanted to photograph without restraints and conditions. Soon after his Tumblr debut his work caught the attention of both the fashion and art press. A gallery show quickly followed in Los Angeles. In late 2012 posters of his tongue-in-cheek series of faux cologne ads, Essence Masculine, were posted in LA, and NY. The numbered prints were quickly torn down and traded on eBay, earning him the praise, “Banksy of Tumblr”.
According to BigShoe Diaries, "LA-based artist and graphic designer Venfield 8 parodies the omnipresent banality and pornographic soft-pedaling endemic to any major-label luxury brand aesthetic in his series 'Designer Dicks'. Throw in an erection, paste on a label, and voilà: all that sexy status shiznit reveals its true face: the evanescent gaze of a one-eyed, blood-filled booty-snatcher with one thing on its mind."
Known mostly for photographing men, his work is provocative and celebratory. Usually nudes, his work does not shy away from showing genitals, although it avoids the porn moniker because of the fashion gloss and statements the work makes. Masculinity, sex, consumerism, violence, status and race are all common liichtmotif of Venfield 8’s work. It can be humorous, erotic or disturbing. Kellen Melloy of Edge magazine described it as “ subversive, but always beautiful” and Calvin Hutchens of Art in America called it “compelling, and impossible to ignore”
From Full Frontal, by Calvin Hutchens: "Take for instance, Venfield 8’s most popular series to date called 'Designer Dicks'. They are exactly as you would expect, only more. In Venfield 8’s world of lust and consumerism, the ultimate status is label enhanced genitals. Why have something generic when upscale branding says something so much more. Presented as ads from a glossy magazine or billboard, it makes perfect sense. And that is what makes the work so striking – the sheer inevitability and sophistication of it. Feeding into a global hunger forall things designer by branding the most intimate part of your body is very 2020. Putting it on a gallery wall is very now. The images are fun, but not coy. Bold and yet subtle. The black penis used for Chanel’s 'Resort' collection is a commentary on race and colonialism that might go unnoticed by less astute viewers. Whereas a Guy Bordain inspired Harry Winston ad will surely strike a chord with fashionistas. Interestingly, you are very aware that you are looking at a penis – but somehow, society’s emotional and cultural baggage that always surround such images is gone and is replaced by the association the viewer equates with a particular designer label. Shocking, these are not. Beautiful, strangely. Masculine, definitely. A quick perusal through Venfield 8’s catalog reveals an artist so confident in his masculinity, he doesn’t try to label it, or the manifestation or types, rather he just uses the symbols of masculinity as nonchalantly, but no less importantly as any other artist picks a color. In Venfield 8’s hands, (excuse the expression) the phallus does not provoke, does not threaten. It is not the subject of humor or derision. Venfield 8 just so matter of factly presents it, almost asexually and yet makes it still desirable – a feat that eludes most contemporary artists.'
Essence Masculine: A series of fashion ads for a fictional cologne called Venfield 8 featuring a jewel cut bottle and images of various male models presented in typical fashionable light. However, the poses show a sweaty armpit, a man exposing his testicles, and another where the model is bent over mooning the camera.
Designer Dicks Big Shoe Diary Interview: A series of fake fashion ads profiling designer branded penises.
Luxury Violence: Laura Mars-inspired images where beautiful models are presented in violent situations. Although more stylish than gory, the images disturb and, in the artist’s works “reflect America’s obsession with consumerism and the glorification of violence” Selected work from this series appeared on the website Queerty the day of the Newtown CT shootings and created a controversy.
Candy ASS: Men's rear ends decorate well-known desserts to make them more appealing and erotic.
Editorial: Venfield 8 FeelGuide.com tends to shoot images of men that see them in somewhat “fashion” situations, although usually nude, there are exceptions.