Category Archives: grad school

FAIRY TALES FEATURED IN THE ADVOCATE

By | digital painting, exhibition, feature, figure, gallery, grad school, graphic design, illustration, interview, LGBT, marriage equality, mythology, religion, social justice, vector | 2 Comments

Very excited that The Advocate featured my MFA project on their website! Quite the honor.

I also really love how they worded the short intro they included: “Like you always wanted Classics Illustrated comics to do…” Absolutely! Aesthetically, I wanted to give gay people the same kinds of generic, stereotypical romantic images and tropes that straight people grow up with and take for granted. I researched comic books, romance novel covers and movie posters to get most of these poses.

The calendar is still on sale in a slightly modified version on deviantART.

Funny back story: The reason The Advocate noticed my work in the first place was because of my Marriage in the Bible infographic that had gone viral. Apparently, the odious anti-gay group NOM had commented on it. A friend of mine suggested I send NOM a thank-you card for the attention. Haha! So thanks, NOM! You helped us get more positive images of same-sex relationships into the public consciousness. Hope you are proud of your good deed! 😀

*Some people have been asking about the calendar year. If you buy a calendar it will be for 2013. I double checked with deviantART:

The year will automatically change in July to the next year.

Example: If you submit a Calendar for the year 2013 before the end of December 2012, the Calendar will automatically change to the year 2014 in July 2013.

We currently ship calendars for the year 2013.

MFA SHOW

By | digital painting, grad school, LGBT, show | No Comments

For my MFA thesis show, I designed a calendar that explores same-sex affection throughout history.

Hit the jump to see all twelve months plus the cover, followed by a statement about the work:

This is what the pieces looked like in the gallery. As you can see they were very large (60″ tall), and the information was featured below the image. I had to rearrange the compositions in order to sell the calendar through DeviantArt’s print surface, which uses a rectangular format rather than a square:

I chose the calendar format for several reasons, not least of which is that the calendar is one of the most ubiquitous art forms on the planet. In contrast, LGBT people are often cast as the abnormal, subversive or abject “Other”, even (or especially) in academic “queer theory” discourse. This work stands to correct that, inasmuch as homosexuality is a normal variation of human sexuality, and gay people have always existed and contributed to society. At the same time, this work intentionally over-corrects and almost takes on the form of hero worship, in its focus on great historical figures, and compositions and poses that echo those of conventional romantic images found in romance novels, movie posters and storybook fairy tales.

All of these depictions are based on real people (with the possible exception of David and Jonathan who may have been legendary). Most of these historical figures are widely accepted to have been homosexual or bisexual. Some of them, such as Saints Sergius and Bacchus, are known for their unusual closeness, but scholars disagree on whether or not they were romantically involved. History isn’t an exact science, and all too often truths are hidden or rewritten after the fact by people who wish to erase gay people from history.

This project wasn’t about proving without a doubt whether or not a certain historical figure was gay; but rather exploring same-sex affection when enough evidence existed to at least consider it a reasonable possibility. Some scholars are quick to dismiss the love between men like David and Jonathan as merely “platonic”, but ask yourself, if the love between a man and woman were described with as much passion and endearment, would anyone doubt that they may have been romantically involved?

I invite you to ponder these issues, as well as appreciate the depth and breadth of same-sex affection among human beings. Homosexuality has existed in all human cultures throughout time; and men who love men have stood among those who have made the greatest contributions to human civilization.

This is an unused image that didn’t make it into the final project. The story here was of Kukai, the legendary monk who supposedly brought homosexuality to Japan:

ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY

By | digital painting, grad school, show | No Comments

This piece was in a group show titled, simply, 2D, at the Project Lodge in Madison. It is an illustration that dramatizes the scientific method and its superiority to irrational methods of understanding the world.

Absolute Certainty (digital painting, 16 x 20)

Unlike mathematics and logic, the natural sciences build theories around facts and evidence; they cannot and do not attempt to prove assertions with 100% accuracy. Hence, “absolute certainty” hovers above both towers and beyond the scope of the natural sciences.