Monday, October 10, 2011

Am I too sexy?

These days my artwork walks a fine line between shameless self indulgence, and career advancement. On the one hand, most of my work consists of drawing/painting illustrations depicting superheroes and porn stars. Because that is simply what I like, and what I want to make art of.  And on the other I'm an educator who has spent the last three years teaching art to small children. I love teaching and believe that it is itself a form of art that is entirely selfless.
I've recently begun the process of applying for a graduate program. Specifically for art education, but I'd also like the opportunity to continue making art academically. I believe I may have found the program that will fit my needs. And now I need to put together a portfolio that will be accepted into this program. So I need to begin making work that is more appropriate and less vulgar for audiences. To which the selfish artist within me wants to shout obscenities at.
I firmly believe that there is nothing wrong with sexuality and the exploration of it. I'm also curious about defining what is considered perverse. I will be examining these ideas as I begin to create this portfolio and chronicling them here in a section called Portfolio Crit. Input is greatly appreciated.


  1. There is a fine line between art and pornography, especially when dealing with the still taboo subjects of male sexuality and of homosexuality. I think this is a subject matter that needs to be pushed and explored, but I think you will find more success exploring these subjects academically in a more abstract manner, less literal/realistic manner.

    One of my favorite artists is Salvador Dali, and much of his work is extremely sexual without being literal, Like Autumn Cannibalism:

    There is no question that the work is sexually charged and expressive, yet it is in no way smutty. Perhaps pushing metaphorically with your work will help you find the balance you are looking for without "offending" the masses.

  2. Well put my friend. These are definitely ideas I've got swirling around in my head.

  3. When I work at the Indiana University Art Museum I had quite a bit of interaction with the School of Fine Arts & was VERY involved with the BFA & MFA bachelor & thesis shows, as well as semester reviews with the undergrads.

    I think over the decade I saw the line pushed more & more in interesting ways both in the abstract & realistic manner. In fact, I ended up being one of the "controversies" when a student of a faculty friend asked me to fill in for the male model the student was using. Was a nude, yes. Was it pushing the envelope, yes. Was is pornography, I don't think so. N.B. Jeff, it's the same guy who did the portrait of me in my study.

    I'll be interested in what your findings are Jeff.