So Justin gave us hard (ha) examples of why one should not engage in sex (or even tug your own a bit) on camera if you're planning on running in a Mister _____ Pageant, or playing on a sports team..... (or running for public office, or not wanting to give your grandma a heart attack, or wanting to be considered "boyfriend material" ever again by the majority of the community at large).
Sex is a fascinating topic in the social context, isn't it? I've found myself increasingly interested in sexuality in art. In the past year I've done some new work with sex as the theme, and have had to explain and justify them to my parents. They were not a fan of the piece i posted here yesterday with the guy with all the arms around him. My mother actually called it porn. I had to explain that since there was no rock hard penis actually in the picture, this was not an image intended to make one's penis rock hard. Therefore, not porn.
Over three years ago, I did my first gay work, and arguably my first truly personal work.
That was the tryptich featuring the prince and his knight in shining armor (me and my boyfriend at the time). That one was an experience. It began as a cute idea, something I thought would look pretty and tell a nice story. I was doing it as a late assignment for one of my classes, I'd gotten a grade extension on basis of my personal life having been a mess earlier in term, and was painting this thing over winter break. When my parents saw the final panel with the (excuse me, tasteful!) sunset kiss, they immediately questioned whether it were "appropriate."
I was shocked. My parents made coming out an extremely positive experience for me at sixteen. My mother is a figure skating coach, and she knew I was going to be gay since my silver leotard days in front of the camera. Actually she sounded like Margaret Cho's mom when she told me she knew "When you were born!" greeeaat. My dad took some more time getting used to it, he's always been more conservative and prude-ish than he'd like to think of himself, but he never gave me any shit. He quietly came to terms and eventually I think realized that our relationship was better than it ever had been when he got used to talking about it. I digress....
Suddenly my cute painting series wasn't so superfluous. It was a big middle finger to anyone daring me to play it safe and compromise my vision, now or ever. It was asking why the fairy tale depicted needed to be scandalous at all, just because two men were involved. Aren't we allowed our fairy tales?
Well, that tryptich received much approval from my instructor when I turned it in, and in fact was the favorite piece in my third term review later that year, and still one of my strongest compositions to date. The feeling I got from that project also made me realize that I wasn't content with painting pretty for pretty's sake. I needed something more real and important and raw for subject matter from here on out.
Later, I'd like to tell you all about how the show last night went! I had a marvelous time, but now I've got to run and get my hearing aids back from the audiologist. Hasta Luego, amigos!