Figurative Paintings 2023

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“Judas”. Unfinished.
6’ x 4’

Why this?
Why a gigantic slightly feminized gigantic black man’s ass? And why would a straight white male artist want this? Who is my muse?. What inspires me to pick this and paint it so large? And why such an unabashedly realistic, almost illustration level way of painting?

Well, at some level I don’t care who my muse is or why I chose to paint this or even why I painted it this way. The short answer is because I simply had to. And that is not just romantic hyperbole. This is one of those images I just had to get out from the moment I saw the photos.
It’s a compulsion. Almost a biological urge.

But this is an essay about my art and my process so I will try to dig deeper. First of all, the model is a new friend. Sthey is very knowledgeable on world religions and mythologies, is an avid burlesque performer with the motivation to design stheir own shows and is a lot of fun. Sthey is also gorgeous.

On another level I want to celebrate stheir commitment to gender bending presentations in stheir artistic presentations. This is clearly an issue of our times as is the matter of his race. The fact that Judas is Black is one of the least interesting things about sthem as a friend. But the fact that the subject of my painting here is Black is important to me. I have heard from many, including Jules, that there are not enough Black artists and Black bodies represented in the arts. I absolutely agree. Obviously I can’t change my race to help remedy this, but I can certainly paint a gorgeous Black person in the most luscious and honoring way that I can.

Yes, these issues are my muse in that they are playing a part in inspiring this piece. But so is my friend. Knowing sthey would see this at some point and hopefully would be honored and flattered and just plain tickled so see stheir physical being as well as stheir artistry painted so beautifully and stridently inspired me to make this piece.

At the time of writing this essay, this painting is not finished. Here are some pics of its progress from a blank canvas. When I finish it I will add a final larger photo.