Depicted with the stark outlines of graphic arts and instructional manuals, Marcus Harvey’s x-rated reproductions become neutral instigators of interpretive response. Empty and generic, they offer sex as a commodified banality onto which all manner of fantasy is projected. Placed over highly emotive backgrounds, Harvey activates these images with tragic-comic fervour. The crotch-shot in Reader’s Wife 1 conveys all the excitement and pathos of amateur porn: clumsy, naïve, and filthy to the core, Harvey’s painterly response both mimics and exceeds pornographic expectation.

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