Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Terry's Art: Another Inheritance

Terry was a very visual person and had aspirations of an art career in New York.  It did not quite work out that way; he was very good at the software design he did for Intel.  He did produce some interesting work.  The four pieces here are, as far as I know, the only print project that he completed, and I believe it may have been done before he arrived in New York.

He also produced a series of photos of himself in drag which tell the story of a lonely woman's day and her ruminations on life.  That may come in a later post, but is rather heavy on the imagery and will take some time to organize. I apologize again for the quality of the photography; it doesn't quite capture the colors of these prints.

Terry created these four prints as a group:





The images are very saturated in color.  Each image measures 17"h x 14"w.  Each print is signed, not dated, and they are labeled in the artist's handwriting as Artist's Proof with a number for each copy and the number of proofs for the edition.

Why I like this piece:

These are idealized male torsos, and represent a type of art created by gay males during the post-Stonewall era to express their love of the male body.  The suppression of such images prior to the early 60s created a generation of artists to whom the image of the male body was the highest expression of their artistic skills.  Without a long-winded discourse on how the male of the human species, regardless of sexual orientation, became such a visual creature it is clear that the latter part of the 20th century may be remembered best for its mini-renaissance of male beauty.  From the physique photography of the '50s through the Abercrombie & Fitch catalogues stretching into the early 21st century, there was never quite so much attention paid to the male and all the variations on the ideal of that human form.

On another level, because of the colors in play on these prints, they relate rather well to the Floc'h and Riviere work in this previous post.  They partake of the same simple background, with a single subject in each frame. 

What this piece reminds me of: 

Although this series of prints reminds me of the time I spent with Terry, one aspect that he spoke of nearly came true, but in a weird way.  These prints have traveled with me to several different abodes.  When I settled in my current apartment, I became familiar with a neighbor whose profession was that of a lead glass window designer.  One of Terry's ambitions for these prints was to have them transposed into leaded glass.

I hadn't thought of that for years before meeting this neighbor.  I told her I had something she might consider for a subject, but her face fell when she saw these prints.  I don't think she was quite ready to approach the subject matter objectively.   

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