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Get the latest news, reviews, and commentary delivered directly to your inbox. Become a Member ». Metaphorically, male artists have long wielded their paintbrushes and chisels like so many big, swollen phalluses, decreeing for the ages how female subjects should be interpreted and portrayed.
And since the sexual liberation movements of the s and s, some gay artists have also examined the male nude, sometimes unabashedly imbuing their imagery with a homoerotic charge. Against this art-historical backdrop, nowadays, in the context of gender fluidity, are there new aesthetic-social-sexual settings emerging in which artists may — or should — reconsider their approaches to the nude?
For Aaron Skolnicka year-old artist from Kentucky who is gay and easily fluid about his sexuality, drawing or painting the male nude is a routine, essential part of his art-making. When I met the artist on a warm October afternoon, he stepped out onto the sidewalk in front of his building to greet me with what appeared to be a brown-leather tablecloth masquerading as a skirt wrapped around his waist.
Skolnick grew up in a small town in northern Kentucky, just southeast of Cincinnati, on the other side of the Ohio River. His parents divorced, and his childhood years were, he said, rough and filled with bullying and tension. It was a relief, he explained, when he was finally able to get away to attend the University of Kentucky in Lexington, where he earned an undergraduate degree in fine art, with a focus on drawing and painting.
Louis was interested in my work; he purchased some pieces made on Mylar and paper, and then we hung out and got closer and closer. It could be difficult to live with and learn from Louis without letting him become a full-time mentor, especially after dating for a couple of years.
I was starting to establish my own voice and wanted see it develop, uninterrupted. As time went on, it got easier to have our studios in the same house; we grew more comfortable with that situation.
Skolnick was already interested in the human figure, and drew and painted regularly, sometimes choosing Bickett or himself as his subject. He routinely worked in watercolor on paper, or in oil on canvas.
Its highlights and outlines are marked in white and chalky violet instead of black or gray, which would have sunk this wisp of an image, one that almost longs to float away. And as far as his subject matter is concerned, he said with a gentle laugh, as he put aside the penis-filled pictures, that was the long and short of it. Edward M. More by Edward M. Subscribe to our newsletter Get the latest news, reviews, and commentary delivered directly to your inbox.
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