When people use words like “that’s gay” or “fag” and so many similar sexual orientation related words (whether or not as a joke), I feel like I am being chained up in a dark corner.


Such words penetrate me profoundly, like a knife which is slowly pushed into my flesh while I am chained by a stranger. It barely matters for me if they try to make a bad joke on my cost, or mean it abusively. Their attempt to destroy my right to exist or to deprive me of my humanity is sickening, like their hands that are holding me in a place I don't want to be.


Yes, every word and joke hurts. Did you know there is still a high suicidal rate amongst lgbt children? This is often caused by the lack of acceptance of who they are by the world around them. The amount of denigrating comments shouted in the streets, pushes them back in a closet over and over again, making them powerless and forcing them to fight for their existence.


"I feel like I am being chained up"


People are often not aware of the fact that most of my artworks are forms of self-portraits. We see so many images every day, that we often look fast and superficially toward them. If you do so, you will see no more than a fetish image of a captivated boy.

However, if you look close to this artwork you will discover that this image represents a feeling I often have. A feeling that our society has forced upon me almost on a daily base from an early age on.

Some viewers might be shocked by this artwork, but it would only mean they are shocked by the feelings that grow upon me.

My work is meant as art and one may interpret it any way one wants. I always try to leave space for this, because ultimately everyone experiences different emotions based on their frame of reference.

Arjan Spannenburg's contemporary artworks can be purchased via ZERP Galerie in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Please see for available artworks, specifications and prices.

*Images shown are copyrighted.