Words by Marvin Maddix
For those that might not be acquainted meet Zach Nutman a Brooklyn based artist turning “wholesome and the grandmotherly” needlepoint into what he calls needleporn. Follow Zach on his WWW or Instagram.
Zach Tell us a bit about you, where you’re from and where do you reside?
I’m originally from London but I’ve lived in New York for about four years now. I moved out here for film school and have been making dirty needlepoint on the side for about a year and a half now.
Do you feel living in (NYC) gives you an upper hand when it comes to inspiration and gay culture?
There are definitely lots of wonderful and inspiring queers in New York though much of my inspiration comes from the web.
For those who have never heard of it, what is “Needleporn”?
Needleporn is using needlepoint to show dirty, queer sex.
When did you originally start doing needlepoints and what made you choose gay sex as your context?
I started around September of 2015, I had been thinking a lot about representations of queer sex and how queer relationships in Film and TV were so often depicted as unsustainable often resulting in the inevitable burying of queer characters, or if not they were totally desexualised and homonormative. I wanted to depict hard, uncensored queer sex in a way that felt celebratory, homely and wholesome and the grandmotherly, matriarchal nature of needlepoint felt like a perfect fit. It feels fun to take a medium that is typically used to sew bible quotes and pictures of cats and then aggressively queer it up.
Is this what you always wanted to do?
I wish I had that kind of foresight.
What do people normally say when they find out what you do?
They’re mostly very into it. The softness of the medium tends to disarm people.
Do you think your needleporn stems from love of sex or love of art?
How do you want viewers to respond to your work?
For me they’re about celebrating queer sex, so I hope that queer people who see them feel that.
How long does it take to make a needlepoint?
A typical piece can be anything from 30-100 hours of sewing.
And is your work drawn from experience, imagination or things you’ve seen?
All the above.
Your work is very reminiscent of Tom of Finland, does this form of illustration inspire you?
Absolutely, Tom of Finland is my main inspiration. I love his work.
If you were a gay porn website what would you call yourself?
When it comes to sex there seems to be a rise in Gay focussed Art/ design, why do you think this is?
I don’t think I’ve noticed that rise, there’s a strong network of queer artists making work that explores sex and sexuality but I can’t say that it’s any more or less now than it’s ever been. I think the internet has made artist’s work more accessible which makes it seem there is a rise.
I ain’t picky.
Whats next for Zach Nutman?
A needlepoint of a very cute boy eating a banana.
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