…and My Response

Tuesday, June 4th, 2002 | Art

Here’s the response I sent to my disappointed supporter:

…thank you for your comments. Your opinions were not so much harsh as unhelpful. These images, I’m afraid to say, do indeed say a lot about me–perhaps a side that you haven’t seen yet, and a side that I am only beginning to explore. So it helps me more at this juncture to hear about what is being seen, and why the images don’t work. Pejorative terms like “derivative” and “sophomoric” are lost on me, because, first off, I’m not really interested in originality, but in being true to my experience–and “sophomoric” discards the conceptual basis of the project and the seriousness with which I’ve pursued its realization. Jack and Mack have always been photographed in poses that are very specific to and easily recognizable as pornography–it is within the context of pornographic photography that I wish to reposition them. But in doing so, I’m not asking the viewer to see them in a different way, I am merely presenting MY experience of them, which has been limited to porn videos and photos, in a new context–the context of nude male photography, which traditionally has been a way of presenting the naked male form in the guise of art. The poses are taken from paintings that have inspired and been copied by many artists over the centuries to tell different stories. I’ve isolated the form from the story to draw specific attention to the male body. I’ve kept the pose to imply that there is a narrative, one engaged with the history of the male body in art, but I leave it up to the viewer to create it. It’s the form that I’m after.

Lighten up a little.

Actually, I just wanted to be alone with Jack Radcliffe and Mack, naked–the rest is hooey. One of the things that interests me is that Jack and Mack are already in the public eye as objects of a kind of adoration. Catholic churches are filled with pieces of bodies and paintings of divine beings that are venerated in place of the live body. I have these pictures to gaze upon and project my desires onto.

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