I watch a ton of RuPaul’s Drag Race and am newly addicted to the Real Housewives of NYC and Beverly Hills. In RuPaul’s Drag Race, I find myself mesmerized by the visually stunning performances and challenges, highly considered outfits/make-up, and the catchy one liners that have recently hijacked my vocabulary (I’m not complaining, hunny). I only wish the hot pink glow from the judges panel would be the ever-present lighting situation in my apartment…(“Alexa, change lights to magenta.”).
On the Real Housewives, I can’t take my eyes off of the screen as the group confronts each other in the most inappropriate of places (Why are you yelling at each other in St. Barts!) The elaborate vacations, iconic fashion moments, and designer puppies (looking at you LVP) leave me longing for glamorous and visually compelling experiences.
But alas, it’s 2020 and we are still working from home, and going out less. I miss the lights in the gay clubs in the Castro neighborhood in San Francisco, I miss traveling to new cities and meeting new people. But, painting has become a way for me to create new and exciting visual experiences from scratch right from my bedroom.
Another form of escape and excitement has been my newfound love of the beach and I have found myself there pretty much every weekend the last few months. Speedos are a way to attract attention to yourself, and I have begun to embrace who I am as a gay man in San Francisco and am allowing myself to do the things I never ever would have done before I came out. The recent shift to purely abstract painting is a similar story — years ago I wouldn’t have dared make an abstract painting out of fear of people not understanding it. In recent years I think I have started to care less about that (both in art and in social life) and I aspire to be as visually aggressive and unapologetic as my paintings.