- Tom- Tom
A reader of my work once told me that he saw the pictures as hard-on charged yet not pornographic. He said, “I think it’s because the flowers and things on your tables are so beautiful.” I enjoy making wherever I live as beautiful as I can. I see a tabletop is a stage – a place to arrange things I find beautiful.
I’ve made the argument before – and I make it again. Nowhere in the Universe is it written that a flower is an appropriate subject for art – but a penis is not. Sex is a divine gift that man has adulterated with shame.
When I lived in an art deco San Francisco apartment with a garden full of camellias and a lover who had a collection of silver objet de penguin – I was happy to adjust my aesthetic to what was at hand. Sean, the sturdy stud from across the street, looked wonderful naked and ever so slightly stiffening in this environment. Helmut Newton was once described as a photographer of women as very expensive playthings of rich men. Perhaps that is part of the erotic charge in this picture of Sean. Hot guy / silver and crystal. Makes one wonder.
I despair when I see someone’s naked profile picture in a place containing nothing beautiful. Too often, dirty clothes litter the floor. I want the space in which I work to respect the men in it. I also love to pack the image with notes that reflect or sensibilities – books – art – flowers. We are complex men. Allan on top is a healer adept in erotic massage. Walter was his lover at the time – an Italian come to America to study interior design. What is the difference between art and porn? Intelligence. And genuine emotional connection.
I recall a guided tour at the Chicago Art Institute when I was still in grade school. The docent pointed out that the beautiful and obviously rich woman in a 18th Century portrait was holding a book that tells us she embraced the Enlightenment Age of Reason. The book was not an incidental prop. The artist meant to tell us more about the woman. The discovery that clues, comments and references to many subjects were scattered or buried in pictures and were meant to engage us was a huge revelation back then. I learned to look for and love that quality in fine art. What you see depends upon what YOU bring to the viewing.
In my picture of Fabrice, the velvet texture of the rose is mated to his satin skin. Both Fabrice and the rose express vibrant life – both colored with gorgeous gradations and subtle hue variations. The leather strap provides an edge to keep the picture from being too “sweet” – suffused as it is with romantic allusion. What is the difference between art and porn? Intention. And taste.
Is there anything in this picture that you would not want to smell and put your tongue to? If your answer is that you’d like to taste it all, then the picture is in exquisite taste.