I’m not going to paint chicks no mo’. I’m gonna draw & paint the dudes for a bit.
If you look at the art I make, you’ll note it’s mostly of women. The thought process behind that runs this way:
We don’t think about it much, but most of art & media is produced for the predominant group, which is white and male. It’s unconscious, we focus on the thoughts and experiences of men as a focus of most of our storytelling. Think of almost any movie, often the protagonist is a guy. If it’s a women more often than not her story involves or relates to a guy as her source or her desire. Instead of being the hero fighting for ideals she is often instead fueled by emotions or desire. In most of movies and television the actors are often mostly white, unless there’s a good reason to have a non-white cast. I’m speaking super-generally here, and I don’t say this as s point to raise anger or blame, and I don’t think getting all butthurt about what was and is will change anything. If diversity is the goal, we must make conscious effort to try to see things from someone else’s viewpoint, and respect that viewpoint as valid even if we don’t necessarily agree. What I personally want is diversified storytelling, whether it be in visual art, music, film, poetry, dance, you name it. Through expression of diversive storytelling we get exposed to new ideas which will churn our own creativity and will also help produce understanding and perhaps love. Hate and fear comes from what we see as other, from what we don’t understand. Limiting the stories we tell limits what we experience and that lack of knowledge breeds fear. I’m not a politician, or a warrior, or a great leader. I can make stuff, hopefully beautiful stuff, and combating all this anger and ugly I see going on these days is the only way I know how to deal with all this crap.
Anywho, back to this dude thing.
I’ve been painting/drawing mostly ladies because they impart express my own experiences. Not literally, more emotionally. I have endeavored to paint women who are not just objects of sex or decoration. It is my hope they have a sense of strength beyond that, even if they are beautiful. For many years I’ve been exploring this, as metaphor and symbol as well as in literal portraiture. Lately though I’ve run into a wall creatively… I like what I do but I’ve become stagnant in it. I’ve been thinking what I could do to make this more exciting for me. The solution is often simple but not always readily available. I’ve decided it’s time to turn my gaze outward, it’s time to explore the masculine, as I see it.
When I hear (straight) men talk about male beauty, especially their own they are usually dismissive. From a young age I can recall men talking about their looks as ugly contrasting that women are beautiful. I fundamentally reject that notion, especially as a straight lady. These days male beauty is usually depicted as hyper masculine, super ripped and slightly oiled. What interests me more is the diversity of male beauty, from a lithe young gent to a hairy bear of a dude to the daddiest of dads to elder grandpas. It’s not just about sexiness or sensuality (although that will have its play), beauty is a part of but is not solely defined by sexual desire. I think we culturally have forgotten that. There is a vibe you can find in ancient Roman, Greek, and Minoan art & sculpture that better depict the grace of the masculine. I want to imbue that vibe in a new body of work.
Should be an interesting ride, let’s see how it goes. 🤘