To mark LGBT History Month 2017, this month’s featured work is True Love BB62, one of several sculptures from Michael Petry’s Bare Back (BB) Lovers series. Out of a silver dish, tipped at an angle, oozes a mass of what appears to be liquid glass. By pouring molten glass into vessels and then allowing it to drip or seep out of them, Petry refers to bodily fluids. In these works, Petry explores ways of expressing themes of same-sex love and desire without depicting the human body.

True Love BB62

© Michael Petry

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By combining glass and silver, two different materials, Petry encourages us to consider the relationship between objects, the contexts in which they are usually seen and the social aspirations that they symbolise. Petry discovered the silver-plated dish that forms the basis of this sculpture in a second-hand market. It was originally a mass-produced substitute for the more expensive solid silver version. By transforming this inexpensive, discarded object into a work of art, Petry re-assigns it a unique object, a quality that it originally lacked.

Michael Petry was born in El Paso, Texas, and has lived in London since 1981. He studied at Rice University, Houston, London Guildhall University and awarded a PhD from Middlesex University. He lectures part time at the Royal College of Art and the Royal Academy Schools, London.

In conjunction with his work as an artist Petry is the Director and Co-Founder of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in London. Former roles include Guest Curator at the Kunstakademiet in Oslo;  Curator of the Royal Academy Schools Gallery; and Research Fellow at the University of Wolverhampton.

Petry is a Fellow of the Royal British Society of Sculptors and a Brother of the Art Workers Guild. He has exhibited his work internationally and his works can be found in numerous public collections, including the British Museum, London; the American Craft Museum, New York; the Kunst und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublick Deutschland, Bonn; and the Bellerive Museum, Zurich.