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HARD TO FIGURE: A PORTFOLIO
(Various Years)

 These paintings have been segregated onto this page due to their provocative imagery. Having said that, they really have less (or little) to do with sex than with politics, ageing and sexuality in general -- of anyone. Within a long history of artists using explicit imagery to delve into sexual politics, (for example Manet, Picasso, Egon Schiele, David Wojnarowicz, and Lynda Benglis), not to mention the many contemporary artists borrowing on pornography or simple erotica (eg. Tom Wesselman, Jeff Koons, John Currin), these paintings present the figure as everyman, and recontextualize youthful and idealized bodies into situations all of us share to varying degrees in our daily lives -- having to do with thoughts not only about sexual gratification, but how we feel about ourselves, and how sexuality of any kind figures into a society where religious taboos continually try to douse the subject with cold water. Of particular interest to me are ideas of sexuality when it is equated with militarly power, the urge for immortality via procreation, and the burden that procreation places on the earth's resources and our political systems.

The newest images in 2009 continue the HARD TO FIGURE series, but now with more explicit sexual imagery. In a society rife with pornography, I'm interested in seeing what it takes to diffuse the imagery or deflect it towards other issues. The texts on some of these drawings come from reviews and articles in current art magazines, raising issues (in my mind) about what "art" in its many guises, is trying to accomplish these days. Does much of what we see in museums and galleries amount to little more than a type of sexual gratification for the artists (and the viewers)? More pointedly, does art that claims efficacy towards political and social goals or awareness amount to anything more than pornography? Hard to figure indeed.

At this point, I do need to add that any depiction of sexual activity does not necessarily reflect a person's sexual identity. Models whom I hire to pose for me are, to my knowledge, heterosexual and happily so. Some of my images combine models from individual sittings, while others borrow on appropriated imagery or the imagination. The models have all been good sports about this project, and reflect not only changing times, but also their openess about sexual identity either way, and their complicity not only in its depiction but also in our gaze.

 

 

JOHN CURRIN

 

LYNDA BENGLIS

 

FRANCIS PICABIA

       
 

 

DAVID SALLE

JEFF KOONS


'TIS OF THEE

THEORY'S HIDEAWAY

 

THE LONG HISTORY

sold


 

THEIR SUBTLER POINT

 

 

X 

The True Cross

sold



LYNDA BENGLIS FOREVER
(Muse/ Museum Series)

 

BRIDGE

HOME RUN

GET IT LICKED (A+ ART SCHOOL)

BEGINNER'S LUCK 2


WANDERLUST 3

A HIDDEN RESERVE

 

Attention Span

sold

THIS IS MY COUNTRY

 

 

Corazon

x

 

 

 

WHO'S AFRAID OF
RED, YELLOW, BLUE?

 


DEMOCRACY

 

x

BARCELONA 1
sold


 

FLOW

 

 

 

THE REVISION
sold

 

v

 

 

 

Untitled: Horseshoes

 

x

 

x

SECOND NATURE

 

xxx

 

Memorial Day 

x

THE TRUE CROSS
(study)

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