Lovers (blue)

Lovers (blue)
Signed Print

Stik

Screenprint, 2011
Signed Print Edition of 50

Critical Review

Lovers is a signed screen print in black, white and blue depicting an androgynous couple embracing; one has eyes closed while the  other observes them lovingly.

Stik has called  gender and age ‘two of my biggest subjects’. The former is undeniably close to the surface in Lovers. Much like the two figures in Holding Hands, the Stik people of this print are decidedly ungendered. Stik has remarked: “Maybe they’re androgynous men? No, they’re Stik People, but Stik People just doesn’t sound right. Everyone calls them Stik Men. I think gender is a really big part of my work though”.

Themes of gender and sexuality have  long had a strong presence in the artist’s work, and have coincided with direct engagement with the LGBTQ+ community: in 2016 an early version of Holding Hands was used on placards paraded at Hackney Pride.

In Lovers, the vulnerable figures find refuge in an embrace instead of looking nervously out to the wider world, which is the typical stance of the artist’s figures, exemplified in prints like The Big Issue and Walk. On the contrary, Lovers directly engages Stik’s notion of the essential human need for connection. Here, the stickmen find it within the frame rather than seeking community beyond.