VENFIELD8 is a pseudonymous artist based in Los Angeles, California.
As a fashion photographer Venfield8 has been working in the industry for almost two decades shooting for various publications, from independent magazines to Conde Nast titles around the globe. Venfield8 started as a way to get away from art directors, agents and conservative clients always looking over his shoulder so he can 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 Los Angeles, New York and Paris. The numbered prints were quickly torn down and traded on eBay, earning him the praise, “Banksy of Tumblr”..
His work is the crossroad where consumerism and male nudity meet. Often uncomfortable , commenting on status, race and sex. Challenging the status quo in main stream publishing, his art is like a chic glossy editorial often resembling a full page luxury brand ad or a billboard we are used to seeing. Only different. And you can’t help but stare. Calvin Hutchens of Art in America called it “compelling, and impossible to ignore. - His most popular series called 'Designer Dicks'. They are exactly as you would expect, only more. In Venfield8’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, 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 for all 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 Venfield8’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 Venfield8’s hands, (excuse the expression) the phallus does not provoke, does not threaten. It is not the subject of humor or derision. Venfield8 just so matter of factly presents it, almost asexually and yet makes it still desirable – a feat that eludes most contemporary artists.'
Meat The Press