Thursday, February 08, 2007

Boy Bordello and Dirty Little Drawings

The Leslie Lohman Gallery is exhibiting drawings of the male nude, done by participants of the Queer Men's Erotic Art Workshop, in a wide range of styles and media. A friend, Kevin Maxwell, is also exhibiting.

According to Kevin, in the drawing sessions, models posed in various positions for increasing lengths of time. The first pose, taking off the shirt, was held for five minutes. The brevity of that pose explained why drawings of that position tended to be sketchier and less colored in, qualities that worked to great effect in some drawings. These drawings were tender, innocent or fleeting. Kevin’s Otisno (the one in upright purple frame in the corner) had a look of tender concentration on his face as he lifted a side of his tank-top.

The last pose, lying back and jerking off, was held for twenty minutes. Kevin said that artists worked furiously to get the pose down on paper but simultaneously kept an eye out for the model’s climax. When he came, the room usually burst out in applause. Sometimes, a model would decline to come. One such model told Kevin, when they went out for drinks, that he wanted to keep something for himself, having exposed everything else.

I discovered at the exhibition that a friend posed for these artists. I was not surprised because he has the muscled bulk typical of all the models, and because he has an exhibitionist streak (as have I). I think he was one of only two Asian models drawn and exhibited. Was it my paranoia or was it true that the few drawings of him erased his Chinese ethnicity? Many drawings of non-whites played up their ethnicity (hair, facial features, skin tone), but the drawings of my friend focused on his body which could be any muscular dude’s body. The models of color were also recognizable by their names, for instance, Gonzalo. My friend, who has a Christian name, could not be recognized that way either.

Kevin had the distinction of drawing the most number of kisses of any artists in the exhibition. One small picture zoomed in on two locked heads, affording little background space to the intensity of the facial embrace.

Other works I liked:

Brian Coape-Arnold
Gonzalo, acrylic and oil pastel on paper
Gonzalo and Bobby, acrylic and oil pastel on paper

John Kirslis
Gonzalo, mixed media on paper
Gonzalo (standing) and Bobby, mixed media on paper

Steven Frim
Craig, watercolor and pencil on paper

Frank Barrett
Brian K, mixed media on paper

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