Floral teacups and butt plugs, decorative vases and bondage, cookie jars and dicks. These unlikely combinations of sex-positive symbols and kitsch homeware are taking galleries and the Internet by storm. Pansy Ass Ceramics represents a pastel revolution that is laughing at conservative culture by writing in an unapologetic gay message – sometimes literally, see Anal Slut vase. Behind this genius fusion of gay culture and antique pottery is artist couple Kris and Andrew. 
As graduates of Concordia University in Montreal, I assume you met studying. How did it happen?
Both of us did go to Concordia but at different times. We met after graduating through a friend. Kris was in Toronto and visiting Montreal for vacation and we met at a dinner.
I love the name Pansy Ass Ceramics – it’s tongue-in-cheek and playful, just like your sculptures. How did you come up with it?
We wanted something that was both shocking and also something that appropriated a slur. Pansy has always been a favourite slur of ours. Pansies are delicate and beautiful and very common, and we thought Pansy Ass described the work very well.
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At the start of your career in ceramics, you embellished found antique china pieces from flea markets. Painting on slogans such as ‘Cock Monster’ in a way this re-claims the stuffy bourgeois ceramics as fun and queer. I see this as a process of writing gay culture into a space in time it was oppressed. Was that your intention?
That’s exactly what we intended. We found beautiful discarded objects that people like our mothers and grandmothers once cherished and really had a place in our childhood. We wanted to rework them with a queer flavour that represented the self-expression we could have had a little earlier in life.
On both your Instagram and website, you stick to a pastel-hued theme. I imagine your home as a treasure-trove of gorgeous kitsch homeware – or are you coveting a minimalist monochrome pad where you live in Toronto?
Our home is definitely a campy kitsch explosion. We have been collecting vintage and ceramic objects for a long time. Andy has a green thumb, so all of our antique vessels have rare and beautiful plants in them. We also have a nice collection of sexy queer art to spice things up.
Your artwork is very sex-positive. We’ve got the décor and the garments. Now, what’s the playlist?
Definitely disco. Kris is also a DJ and we’re always playing disco and dance music in our studio while we work!
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Toronto seems like it has a thriving queer scene. Where should we be partying?
It is true! There are a few Toronto queer staples like The Beaver, Woody’s and the Black Eagle but the city is all about queer events that take place in different venues. Check out yohomo.ca for a guide to the best queer events before you visit!
With a big following of 51k on Instagram, you are reaching fans internationally. Now, your recent exhibition in Melbourne (Australia) has just come to a close. What are your plans for future exhibitions?
On Valentine’s day, we have a big installation opening at the Superfine Art Fair in Los Angeles, and in the Spring we have a show in Sweden. Details still to be determined. 
As you just said, you are attending Superfine Art Fair in Los Angeles from February 14 to 17. Can we expect any Valentine’s treats, like some unseen work?
Yes! We have a full collection of large new work heading south for our installation. It will be loosely inspired by love and the excesses of Ancient Greek culture. We can’t wait to share!
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From my research, it’s unclear if you do commissioned work. Is this something you have explored yet?
We have in the past but working with ceramics is too unpredictable for us to take on commissions. You never know what you get when you open the kiln – things can explode, tip over, melt during firings. Results are often unexpected.
Your Instagram is private, so people must request and be accepted to see your work. Did you make this choice due to issues with censorship?
Yes, it was less censorship by the platform and more censorship by bigots. There are people that troll social media reporting images that don’t align with their values… There was one day in particular that we noticed we were getting a lot of hate from random people so we chose to go private. It’s a shame that we can’t have the same exposure that you do in a fully public profile but we like that people make a choice to look at and appreciate what we do.
Finally, if you had to choose only one piece each out of all the artwork you’ve created, what would it be and why?
Kris’s favourite piece is our Cock and Rose bowl. It definitely seemed to elicit shock and awe whenever we showed it. We had it exhibiting on the main floor at The Museum of Sex in New York City and a private collector purchased it. Some of Andy’s favourites are from the Fuck Bud Collection – our shaped figure vases in sexual positions. We loved how they resonated with people. We get comments frequently by queers and women that they find it so refreshing to see male bodies exhibited in a sexual way. This is not a new innovation by any means, but to some, it’s still taboo to objectify the male body in a lustful way.
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