In the mid 1980s I began a series of life sized figurative drawings. Most all these works were based on my own photographs, though I began with references to images found in physique magazines from the 1950s. The portraits, drawn busts, were inspired by the classical busts of sculpture ranging from Greek and Roman times to the 19th century. As Holbein documented the figures of the Tudor court, I documented my West Hollywood friends.
The drawings are made with powdered graphite, worked in a manner similar to charcoal, the powder both laid down and rubbed in for shadows and erased for highlights to give the drawing sculptural form. At times the image is a literal translation of one of my photographs and at times the image is made up of a dozens of photo studies for the work.
The works at times express the grief we were experiencing as our friends were dying in the darkest days of the AIDS crisis. And at times the works were meant to soar , literally, as in the series I did of my then partner, Mark, an athlete, competition diver as well as a professional performer in water park shows.