Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Where Is Steve DeFrank?

Hey guys,

Someone sent me a link to a news article about some artist named Steve DeFrank. I was shocked and surprised reading it. Check it out. 

Story taken from GayCityNews.com:

By: GREGORY MONTREUIL
October 9, 2008

Humor and reflection weave through Steve DeFrank's "Mirror Mirror" in equal measure as the artist, known for his lite-brite works, abandons the toy but not the play. Wood is the literal and metaphorical subject here. DeFrank addresses notions of gay culture that on the surface seem frivolous, even as their serious side peeks through the planks, stumps, and leaves.

"Stud Gathering" is a group of tall narrow panels that lean in two groups on opposite sides of the gallery. The paintings on panels are titled with the names of illustrious porn stars - "
Wolf Hudson (Stud)," 2008, "Bobby Blake (Stud)," 2008, "Jeff Palmer (Stud)," 2008 - representing a wide range of ethnicities. Each stud portrait is lovingly painted as faux wood grain in non-specific, luminous color.

A single plank, "Stud," 2007, is painted with faux carved letters in a primitive Disney-like font spelling out STUD. Could this be a stand-in for the stud of your choice?

Earthy greens and blues with bright pinks and reds coupled with the dry quality of the casein paint give all of the paintings in this exhibition a tight hyper-real effect. Faux painted carved lettering is present in many of the works and flip-flops between romantic expressions of commitment - signified by initials and hearts - and provocative bathroom graffiti.

"Fairy Nice," 2007, is a large panel covered with pleasant gay nomenclature - "Aunt Fancy" and "Miss Thing" and glowing painted lights. "Faglish," 2007, is even more densely covered with names and phrases that gays are called or call themselves - "Poofy", "Nancyboy," "Pansyland" are painted as if scratched into the surface - while "Assmosis," 2007, shows a floating stump covered with euphemisms for anus.

DeFrank pushes buttons; the phrases are either self-deprecating or malicious depending on who is using them and why. These densely painted works are among the strongest and most political in the show.

Other works, "Bippity Boppity Boo," 2008, and "Happiness for a Dirt Pile," 2007, are more open-ended and have a hard time competing with the verbal buzz of the paintings that surround them.

A moth-eaten leaf dripping with dew spells "Why Me" (2008) and rings with an existential angst that transcends sexual orientation. The floating leaf points to the fragility humans confront. This show adds up to serious fun as DeFrank looks beneath the surface in thoughtful and surprising ways to touch on issues of gay male identity and self-perception. END

I need to find this guy and the painting. I think its pretty cool. If anyone knows who he is, please direct him to me. Thanks. :)


Wet dreams,
Wolf Hudson XXX

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