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Interview with Joe Orton’s nephew, artist David Lock

For Joe Orton: Discover the man behind the drama by National Justice Museum

Q. What drew you to becoming a portrait artist?

A. I have always been interested in representing the human condition. In that sense, I don’t see myself as a portrait painter per se, rather I’m more interested in exploring masculinities in contemporary culture.

Q. How do you choose the subject of your paintings?

A. Through magazines, and the internet. I like choosing images of men that constitute an ‘ideal’. The cultural currency in that.

Q. Has Joe Orton influenced your work?

A. I think more so through my collage process. I’ve been very direct in the Joe Orton exhibitions to mark the 50th anniversary of his death and have made large-scale wall collages as a direct homage to him.

Q. What is your creative process like?

A. I usually fragment the figure through collage and then I reassemble the different parts. The collages act as a springboard to make paintings. The paintings themselves then take on an identity of their own.

Q. Why do you think people should support the National Justice Museum’s Joe Orton crowdfunding campaign?

A. There are so many great aspects to Joe’s short career. It’s just such a rich and inspiring story. He achieved success when the odds were stacked against him. The National Justice Museum’s exhibition will tell his narrative through his custodial prison sentence for defacing and stealing library books, finding success as a playwright and the way he lived his life as a gay man when it was still illegal to be homosexual.

We need your help to raise £10,000 to make this exhibition happen.  Together, we can celebrate the life and work of Joe Orton and continue to ensure that his legacy lives on. Thank you!

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