Censorship and and Visual Statements - Katherine Stewart chats to Shuby

Shuby is an artist comfortable working on the streets of Barcelona, Berlin, London, and beyond alongside gallery shows and commercial spaces, as well as the Venice Biennale. Her street art began with work inspired by singer and dancer Josephine Baker and the Busby Berkeley film ‘The Gang’s all Here’. She has since embarked on a journey evolving a range of found images inspired by the iconography of 50’s and 60’s film posters, retro advertising and pop images that are deconstructed, reworked and punctuated with her banana and bunny motif. 

Available as a run of 50 limited limited edition 6x4 prints

Available as a run of 50 limited limited edition 6x4 prints

Available as a run of 50 limited limited edition 6x4 prints

Available as a run of 50 limited limited edition 6x4 prints

Available as a run of 50 limited limited edition 6x4 prints

Available as a run of 50 limited limited edition 6x4 prints

Available as a run of 50 limited limited edition 6x4 prints

Available as a run of 50 limited limited edition 6x4 prints

I really like your work. It's funny and actually feels oddly empowering to me as a woman, maybe because you've reclaimed these images initially created for the male gaze under your own aesthetic. When did you first develop a passion for your chosen field?

Thank you! I've always been interested in how imagery affects the male or female viewer right back to when I did photographs of myself with  'Up Yours' written on my underwear for my degree show in 1991.

Your artworks often explore graphics and slogans from the 50s and 60s. Do you find yourself looking back at the era nostalgically? 

With my recent work about film posters it's more a look back at the history of the adult film industry and censorship rather than nostalgia. Because nudity was censored on film there was a loop hole in the laws if the film was a documentary. This led to films like Take Your Clothes Off and Live and World Without Shame being made at nudist camps.

Available as a run of 50 limited limited edition 6x4 prints

Available as a run of 50 limited limited edition 6x4 prints

Your first solo show is on until the 20th of Feb at Lawrence Alkin Gallery. Congratulations! Has the journey been a tough one?

Thanks! Yes its been a bit of a roller coaster but well worth it. I chose a new way of working by silkscreen printing on canvas and mirror which meant learning a new set of skills. Working with Jealous studios was great though. I also met some amazing new contacts along the way which has sparked new ideas and projects for the future.

What does being creative mean to you? And what, if anything, holds you back?

Being creative with art is very important to me as a way of self expression. I'm not a very wordy person so making visual statements is my way of speaking in a way. Not much holds me back if I really want to do something.

What piece of advice would you give to a young female to help them be more fearless? 

My advice would be get out there and have fun with what you enjoy doing.

Available as a run of 50 limited limited edition 6x4 prints

Available as a run of 50 limited limited edition 6x4 prints

Available as a run of 50 limited limited edition 6x4 prints

Available as a run of 50 limited limited edition 6x4 prints

Available as a run of 50 limited limited edition 6x4 prints

Available as a run of 50 limited limited edition 6x4 prints

About the writer

Katherine is 22 year old writer based in London. She graduated from the Courtauld Institute of Art and is an advocate for anything made or done by women. If she’s not devouring books and drinking cups of strong black coffee in downward facing dog, she’s fighting the patriarchy through interviewing women artists or giving you her heartfelt feminist opinion. She believes that the key to life is to be constantly interested in the women around you, only when we are mesmerised by the existence of each other can we truly unleash our greatest human potential.