Monday, February 28, 2011

Playing Card Portraits

Presented for your amusement, here are seven miniature portraits painted on the backs of playing cards, one for each day of the week. Four of these retratos were made from memory and the other three were done from mass-circulated celebrity photos. Which are which should be easily discerned.

I began painting portraits on playing card backs after reading, and later viewing a reproduction, of a portrait of Elizabeth Tudor by Nicholas Hilliard, done in this way. My work is much different from that of the great British portraitist and confidant of this sixteenth century queen; but it does possess this lineage, none the less.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Perverse Baby José

He's just some guy whose pictures I saw on a personals site and marked down as a favorite. Then a few weeks ago I saw a trailer for a scene in a porn film and tried to remember where I had seen him before. After trying various contemporary encyclopedias of pornography, I tried the personals site where Baby Pervert posted his pictures a few years ago. (The last time he logged in was nearly two years ago and his profile has only been viewed 236 times!) There was the José Baja I was looking for, a few years younger but the same face and body were shown. It appears that he is thirty years old and he lists his occupation as artist.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Fenomeno y Otras Obras

I've wanted for a few days now to add some panels by the nineteenth century self-taught Mexican painter, Hermenegildo Bustos, to this ostensibly public forum. Last Saturday I was describing to a friend, a Mexican farmer from Jalisco, the marvelous work of this artist from Guanajuato. My friend wasn't familiar with the terms "bodegon" or "ex voto," but he remembered the term "retablo." I plan to bring my book on Bustos to the Farmers' Market this Sunday to show Apolinar what I was talking about.

Kai in Inner Mongolia

I realize that this guy is just a model in some glossy Chinese skin rag, who strikes a lot of cliché poses that he doesn't realize are cliché; but I find him unspeakably handsome. It may be that he closely resembles a young Chinese lawyer, whom I worked with and had a rather painful crush on; and it may be that I saw this fellow in his SUV with his wife and daughter yesterday as I crossed the street before them; and that we looked into each others eyes briefly, filling me with that old longing I felt whenever I crossed his path in the office....

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


The young man shown here is most likely French of Algerian descent rather than Moroccan, but the film he appeared in for Jean-Daniel Cadinot was called Hammam; hence the title of this post. The flowers were directly observed. I just threw them in because I believe a young man as beautiful as this one deserves roses.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Maico Eduria: Pinoy Jungle Boy

Here we have six photos of that versatile young Filipino model, Maico Eduria. I'm considering him for a role in one of my upcoming chapbooks (something in the line of The Jungle Boy series.) Here he looks lovely tearing off his last vestiges of capitalistic constriction in a verdant tropical field. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Old Playing Cards

What you're seeing here are some very small paintings that were painted on playing cards some thirty years ago. Most of what I did then I managed to sell within a couple of years of their making. I didn't plan to keep these particular works. They're just some of the ones that were left over; but I happen to like them and believe they're worth looking at. They weren't painted as a series, but I have arranged them for viewing.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Bunch Of Rebellious Slaves

Only one of these paintings was in the Wessel and O'Connor show referenced above in this post's title. The image directly below, from a moment in Spielberg's Amistad, was used on the announcement. The other two pictures could have been in it if they hadn't just been made last week.