Im so happy to be exhibiting in the National Portrait Gallery for the second year running. This year I painted ‘Marcus’ and it is the start of a male nude series which I’ve been working on since. I wanted to see more nudes of men painted by women as most that came to my mind were the other way around. I also think that at this moment in time we are surrounded by explicit and sometimes aggressive nude imagery so I think its important to make something to counterbalance that, something positive and celebratory. This is a painting about the female gaze, about the masculine and feminine, about vulnerability and about male beauty from a female perspective.
I met Marcus as he was modelling for a sculpture in the next door studio and soon after asked him to pose for me. As he is a professional art model he has a unique relationship with nudity which makes him very comfortable and confident which is a relaxed environment to paint in. I’m now working on about 15 other life sized male nude portraits, here below is a photo of me giving a short talk about my work at the National Portrait Gallery summer 2018 infront of a slide showing some of the unfinished nudes in my studio
Here is a photo of the start of Marcus portrait – I tend to take a long time to complete my paintings and I kept on adding to this one for about a year… but it started like this below which is very different to the end result:
The surface is very built up which you can see better from this angle
and here is more of a close up of the portrait.