Other than talking about ourselves and new products, this blog will also be used to regularly showcase some gay artists. To start, here are three American painters.
Paul Cadmus The Fleet’s In (1934)
In 1934, New York based Paul Cadmus caused a great controversy by candidly painting his account of watching sailors land on the city’s 96th street pier. Obviously, the establishment of the time and even the public were infuriated by the overt pick up between men. Cadmus even received death threats forcing him to move out of his flat for a while. The painting is now on permanent display at the Washington Navy Yard. Looks like we are slowly moving on after all...
Michael Breyette Twenty-One (2009)
Michael Breyette is a self taught painter, based in Central Massachusetts, working mainly with soft pastels. One of the most surprising aspects of Breyette’s technique is that he doesn’t use live models. Everything is made up! What’s also noticeable in his work is the immediate accessibility and proximity with the viewer.
The ‘down-to-earth’ choice of settings, from bathrooms to strip clubs makes it easy to relate to Breyette’s work.
Kehinde Wiley Willem Von Heythuysen (2005)
Kehinde Wiley is a gay black painter born in LA in 1977. He has an unorthodox casting process by picking his models (often gay themselves) off the streets or clubs and once back in his studio, has them look through art books to pick an image they’d like to be painted as. The result is a painting reminiscent of a historical artwork but the model is coloured and wears his contemporary clothes. Furthermore the model is placed in front of colourful and symbolistic images of Ethiopian or Israeli backdrops.
The model nearly always remains anonymous while the painting is named after the original artwork. The clash of traditional codes (art history’s glorification of depicted subject, wealth, power, etc.) with such contemporary references (masculinity, race, sexual orientation...) make for paintings that are deeply political.
This is only a tiny and subjective selection. What about you, who are your favourite painters? Leave a comment below.