You may well know Ian Bruce as the lead singer and dancer of The Correspondents, but you may not know that when he’s not leaping about the stage in his cape and spats, he’s a very talented artist too. Under his RubiCANE guise, his exhibition of exquisite illustrations of porn images has just opened at The Society Club in Soho. You should go and see it. Josh Jones had a chat with the mercurial man behind it all.
So can you tell us about your exhibition? It sounds sexy and great and arty.
Well the show consists of two parts. There are 60 framed pornographic drawings in the space. And all of these drawings have been compiled into a silk bound limited edition book with 20 texts by playwrights, poets and pornstars.
How did you, ahem, research the show?
I clocked in an average of five hours of porn a day over the course of six months and my right hand was exhausted from all that drawing… Trust me, after a while you do become totally immune and then it’s all about finding the right image. Some of the images are from life but I’m not telling anyone which ones.
Where did you find the contributors for the book? They seem to be an interesting bunch.
I hounded the porn stars, poets, sex specialists etc. on Twitter, pleading them to write. To be honest once I had secured one respected name in a particular part of the porn industry, other people were more open to the idea. A number of them are very close friends who were kind enough write.
Do you ever change the words to that Eels song and sing ‘RubiCANE For The Soul’?
Ha! Genius! First time I’ve heard that. Well yes, and in the video I’d have loads of floating roses, cherries, vulvae and phalli to replace the band members.
Has it been hard to juggle the workload of putting together a show and a book and being in a highly sought-after band?
Yes! We say yes to gigs months in advance not really thinking about the logistics. So a trip to Bulgaria (as good a gig as it was) the weekend before the opening was a little nerve wracking. But actually, the project was improved by touring in the band – loads of the drawings are done on hotel stationery and drawn in hotel rooms in between soundcheck and going on stage. They are some of my favourite images, porn is often made in hotels and watched in hotels!
Now the show’s in Soho, The Correspondents have a cracking song about Soho – where’s your favourite place in Soho?
Well, since the demise of the much loved Colony Room I’ve been a little lost. Don’t want to sound like I am doing a sales pitch but The Society Club where I’m exhibiting is one of my favourite places, I spend hours there drinking tea, eating cake and talking to the constant and very eclectic stream of people about porn. And they’re about to get a drinks license so I won’t have to leave.
Photo: Tom Medwell