Monday, January 2

Göz Lokum

I thought I’d begin the year with a little göz lokum. In case you missed my earlier post, that’s Turkish for “eye candy,” loosely translated. But you don’t have to be Turkish to enjoy göz lokum.

Here are two works by Paul Cadmus (1904-1999), another bright shining star in the homoerotic firmament.

At first I thought that the drawing to the left (Male Nude NM126, 1965-66, crayons on paper, DC Moore Gallery, New York) captures the moment prior to lovemaking, as the young nude man with his sideward glance waits patiently for his lover.

After a closer look, however, I think that the unmade bed on which the handsome figure is only half lying, his casual nudity, and his wistful gaze all suggest the imminent departure of his lover after, rather than prior to, lovemaking.

The below drawing (Male Nude NM2, 1965, crayons on hand-toned paper, DC Moore Gallery, New York) is harder to read.

Why is the figure displayed seductively on what appears to be a coffee table? I think that he must be dessert.

After studying art at the National Academy of Design and the Arts Students League, Cadmus abandoned a career in advertising and traveled to Europe in the early 1930s with his lover and fellow painter, Jared French. When he returned to the United States, he went to work as an artist for the Public Works of Art Project of the WPA. In 1934 he painted The Fleet’s In! (oil on canvas, The Navy Museum, Washington, D.C.), which portrayed a group of rowdy sailors on shore leave. The painting was selected by the WPA for a show at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington. However, its overt eroticism, both hetero- and homo-, caused a public outcry, and the painting was removed, though most historians agree that it was the painting’s depiction of a burly sailor flirting with a rather queer-looking male civilian that was the real problem. It was the controversy surrounding The Fleet’s In! that launched Cadmus’ career.

4 Comments:

Anonymous outiboy said...

wouldn't the first boy on the unmade bed have been hard if he was waiting for his lover for some lovemaking?

8:59 PM  
Blogger jjd said...

hmm. I'm thinking the first picture is of wistful reflection after some lovemaking, while the second picture brings more to mind the anticipation or envisioning of lovemaking to come. Regardless, I really like them both, quite sexy, especially the first one.

11:17 PM  
Blogger Will said...

Yes, I think the lover has left and the boy is in a kind of dream world, still able to smell his man's scent and feel his touch on his body as he lies langorously in post-coital bliss.

8:44 PM  
Blogger sensualmonk said...

απ' τον τσαρούχη στον cadmus [ένα απ' τα πολλά βιβλία -ένα λεύκωμά του- που κουβάλησα απ' το αμέρικα το ΄98...]: άξιος συνειρμός! :-)

11:29 PM  

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