Wollongong-based T is the artist behind the instagram account @neon.bodies, where hot guys from the internet are given a glow up. Interview by Christos Linou
Where do you find the images that you treat in your artworks??
Most of the images come straight from Instagram. It’s a great source of the kind of images I like to work with. If I’m looking for something or someone in particular, I use a trusty Google image search.
What’s the process of securing ethical consent?
When I started the account during lockdown, I was asking for permission but found that a lot of accounts weren’t replying to my messages or were being left unread, so I just started using people’s photos without permission. Luckily I’ve never had anyone say they didn’t give me permission, but if someone was unhappy with me using their photos, I’d remove them straight away. I have a couple of people, who I’ve done a couple of images of now, send me photos to use, which is really cool. The only thing I really do is to make sure that anyone I do an image for is over 18. The photos I use can be quite ‘thirsty’ so I don’t want anyone objectifying underage people.
Are the images on instagram available for sale?
The neon ones are definitely all for sale, as there’s no copyrighted material in the final product. People just need to message me for prices.
What commission options are available?
I do a range of commissions. They start with the basic white line art over a photo and go into the neon effects. There’s a bunch of different options in between. There’s endless options for what I can do with images, which means every commission is unique. No two images are the same, which is pretty cool.
Will these works be exhibited in a gallery format or is IG your virtual art gallery?
I have no plans of making an exhibition out of these, but never say never.
Which artists do you draw inspiration from?
No artists really, to be honest. There are so many people’s accounts that do line art as I do, which is why I started doing the neon treatment. My inspiration for the first neon image came from my love of cyberpunk and retro-wave aesthetics. I love the way they bring nostalgia and futurism together. When the images are done in neon, I imagine them as a neon light outside a nightclub.
Would you ever convert the artworks into neon?
Yeah, I’d love to be able to. I did an image last year for a performer in Melbourne. His sister contacted me and asked for the image so she could make it into an actual neon light. They sent me photos of it and it looked so cool. It would be great to have that as a commission option. Just need to sort out the logistics I guess
Christos Linou is a Melbourne-based artist and choreographer. www.linoupress.com