Oleg AndreevTitle unknown (201X)

I don’t believe in reincarnation. (Not that I don’t grasp what makes the concept so appealing–I just think it’s an all-too-extravagent proposition.)

But looking at this–which full disclosure: I don’t think is an especially great photo*–I’m just sort of instinctively drawn to it.

It reminds me of the first internet friend I made back in the mid-90s. She was the first person I met who claimed to be an honest to goodness witch. (I didn’t take her super seriously but I also didn’t feel any need to question or refute her.)

She always maintained that I had been a Russian peasant girl in my most recent past life. And honestly–that’s sort of the most reasonable explanation I could provide as to why so much of the work that commands my attention is made by folks who were formed and came of age during late Soviet decline in Eastern Europe and Russia.

*As to what doesn’t work about this, it’s dealing with a similar conceit as @mrchill‘s The Push–which I consider to be a much more effective evocation.

RuddTitle unknown (2017)

I love this even if the composition is somewhat funky. (Yes: the ottomon and her arm draw the eye at a diagonal up and right toward her sternum, the equal yet opposite angle of the couch pushes the eye past her face to the hand thrown behind her head; the mass of negative space is like the tension of a bowstring when the arrow is loosed and the gaze spans back to where he’s feasting upon her desire–this subsequently then causes the eye to shuttle back and forth between him and her.)

It works but the layout is just strange and if I had to guess I’d say that this is a drawing made from some sort of image reference. (This would explain the strange layout because when you’re drawing you can put a camera anywhere but in the real world their are limitations on where a camera will fit.)

Still: I really do like the fact that the way the illustration scan preferences her pleasure above its catalyst. And when you subsequently realize the cause of the pleasure, the connection sharpens her experience somehow.

There’s also the little things–like I don’t exactly understand if it’s a stylistic contrivance but both of them appear to have their nails painted black. It’s small but it’s not a bad tact to remind you that her extended right arm is still part of the composition despite the way the viewer’s gaze is encouraged to loop between her face and his.

Lastly, it’s great that below his left armpit and her right inner thigh you can see a puddle of vaginal mucous and presumably saliva spreading on the couch. Good times.

Lin Jinfu – Night (2014)

From an art historical perspective, there is a desperate need for someone who has a working knowledge of emerging work in China and southeast Asia.

Lin’s work is excellent but there is precious little written about him in English, e.g. I spent 30 minutes digging through Google results and was only able to discover that roughly a third of the English posts on his work believe that he’s Japanese or ‘Oriental’ :::shudders:::

He’s actually Chinese and lives/works in Beijing.

Other preposterous assertions made by idiots about his work: due to the influence of Baroque and Neoclassicism on his work along with–apparently the difficulty Westerners have in pronouncing his name– he’s referred to as Caravaggio. (This makes zero sense as he actually goes by the anglicized Jeff Lin; also: I know there’s a tendency to assume repressive regimes keep their people from engaging with more modern art–but I would bet a private cam session that he’s thoroughly familiar with the work of Lucian Freud–the more photographic rendering of light is an absolute dead ringer between the two.)

Lastly, folks make preposterous assumptions about Lin’s engagement with the male nude and gay eroticism–and how unconventional that is in China. Okay, got it–perhaps in painting that’s true but what about Ren Hang? (I know there are at least two others I’ve posted but since I can’t use Google to search my archive anymore… there’s no way I’ll ever find what I’m thinking of…)

But really, Lin’s paintings are excellent. I wish I had a single site to refer you to but you’ll just have to apply a little bit of elbow grease. (The effort is worth it, I promise.)

Nicolás UribeSunday Conversation (2008)

I really love this guy’s work.

But this one in particular has a lot of meaning for me.

My life has been a living hell for the last five months. My partner is dependent, at least, in all likelihood addicted to pain killers. She’s fine as long as she can get pills but when she can’t she becomes profoundly emotionally abusive, manipulative and suicidal.

For the longest time, she was the only person who wanted me and more than that wanted to be with me. But at the end of May last year, I went out to the Bay Area for the first time and spent 48 hours with my friend Amadine (not her real name).

It was maybe the best 48 hours of my entire life. I have only ever felt so completely connected with one other person in my life.

Anyway, the first night I was with her we ate edibles together and sat on the couch in her living room talking. As those of you in California already know, the CA medical edibles tend to come in a bit higher in THC concentration than they are advertised. For example: at that point I was consuming around 35mgs on a two days on-one day off rotation. I ate something like 65mgs that night and I’ve only been that stoned maybe three other times in my life.

Amadine was outline three projects she wants to work on, one involving animation.

Unlike this painting, we were fully clothed. In fact, her partner was in the other room. We also were not sitting side-by-side. She was sitting with her back against the arm of the couch, with her legs crossed, her knee touching my thigh.

The only light in the room was a lamp on Amadine’s desk–her desk being in a recessed work space divided off from the main room by one of those antique dividers with the carved wooden arabesques. As my eyes scanned between her eyes and the room–I have trouble with eye contact and while that trouble is almost non-existent with her, I had to keep shifting my gaze because the urge to lean forward and kiss her was so overwhelming.

The light through the carved gaps seemed like it was rotoscoped, it kept undulating and shifting slightly distracting me. Amadine stopped talking and we just sat there looking at each other for what felt like five minutes. She finally giggled and smiling broadly said, wow, yo, that was super intense.

It’s taken a while but we’ve finally gotten around to talking about our experiences of that weekend. And it turns out that we are both insanely attracted to each other but that due to a number of factors in her world right now it’s not something that those feelings aren’t something that can be acted upon just yet.

So yeah, this painting perfectly captures the feeling of sharing space and time with a dear friend that I love and am devastatingly attracted to…

It’s probably not realistic and I know we won’t hook up when I see her again next month, but I stupidly have in mind that we might be able to share space again like before, perhaps more inline with this painting. (We both have a pronounced nudist streak, so it’s not impossible even if it is unlikely.)