Nudes Series Statement

I began taking the photographs that would become this series of male nudes around 2002 when I was dating the model. In all the photographs I took of my partner at the time, he had his arm over his face, as if he did not want to see what was happening. I didn’t really think about this at the time. I only saw the light streaming through the windows, or the light of the moon shining on his middle-aged, imperfect form. I loved it that he was not physically fit per se. He wasn’t grossly unfit, but his form was not tight and developed. Michael Angelo’s “David,” he was not and I liked this. It spoke to me about the beauty of imperfection. It was a simple beginning to the series.

As I began painting, other knowledge about the paintings emerged for me, things that were not consciously meditated upon before beginning the series.

In several of the pieces, the figure merges with the background. Another artist asked me one day why I did this, and without thinking, I said “because we are all part of our environment. We are our environment and our environment is us.” Another person asked me shortly thereafter, why it was that the feet and the buttocks of the nudes seemed to have a starring role in each of the paintings. Again, without too much thought, my answer emerged. I told the person “because the buttocks have to do with our animal nature. It is what connects us, in our mechanistic world, back to our true nature. “The feet,” I added, “have to do with our agency, or lack thereof, as a species.”

I understood then that these paintings were no longer just an exploration of the way light moved up against the male nude, but that some knowledge wanted to be born through them, transported through them, knowledge that was about the human race.

This is what I learned from these paintings, so far:

The human race has turned away from its animal nature and become pathological in the process. It has turned away from the light, of which it is a part. It refuses to see. Humans are dying because they refuse to see that they are part of the natural environment around them. They do not stand up to the destruction of the world (and its inhabitants) around them. They are lying down. They are hiding from the truth.

It is my true hope that my skill as a painter, as an artist, has served this knowledge that wished to be born, that chose me for the medium of its expression.