Canadian artist Nikki Peck, known to her many Instagram followers as @Bonercandy69, is an illustrator who uses her erotic art to rewrite her own narrative. She grew up in Vancouver, and studied studio arts and art history at Concordia University in Montreal, graduating in 2014. She followed this up with an MFA in Visual Art at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Her erotica was born out of her own difficult encounters, a series of toxic relationships which left her feeling gaslighted and slut-shamed. She wanted to feel confident, strong and sexually charged, and her illustrations became a cathartic outlet.

They have since evolved into intimate scenarios of women that explore issues of rejection and shame in a very tongue-in-cheek way. ‘We are objectified for male visual pleasure, that's just how it's been since day one,’ she explains. ‘Our sexuality is used against us and sold back to us in very hyper-sexual, derogatory and violent ways.’ Filled with humour, her work aims to flip that, establishing women’s place in pleasure and sexual exploration which is as messy, hairy, and totally imperfect as it is in real life.

With many different kinds of feminisms being explored in the world, the commentary and discourse surrounding what is empowering and what is exploitative can be confusing. Nikki Peck constantly asks herself whether women can self-objectify and still be feminists. ‘I can depict a woman as a sexually charged subject rather than as an object, but that leads to questions about the viewer, and if they see the woman as objectified is that bad? What happens when a woman wants to objectify herself, say in selfies, to reclaim agency over her body for her own pleasure? What if it’s her own desire to take that photo? If she feels sexy doing it why is that bad? A lot of feminists fight against each other because they think others are silencing, erasing or problematising what the cause is actually about. There's still a lot to understand and work out.’

Nikki Peck’s website is here, and her Instagram account here.

We are very grateful to our Russian friend Yuri for introducing us to the work of this artist, and for supplying many of the images.


Example illustration