The Life and Times of Mon Graffito, figurative painter, sculptor, draughtsman, human on a mission.
(for those who enjoy reading a story more than a dry bio)
Loving the Classical Arts, I went to a Fine Art Faculty in the Netherlands. But the Dutch Culture is focused on being effective (not bad) and money making.
At the Faculty the teachers told me Classical Art was dead, conceptual is the word of the day. Installations, interactivity, new materials (some of which were not really new, we just had another word for it in the past: garbage). But I thought they knew something I didn’t and for years I immerged myself in the decade of (re)discoveries, re-definitions and all that jazz.
Six years ago my life took a radical new direction, as the result of a back injury and the impossibility of continuing work as a fully functional (physical) man.
As the positive spirit that I am, I saw the opportunity of finally working what I kept as a secret, even to myself: learning to draw, to paint, to sculpt, letting my senses, my emotions and my mind melt out of myself and become this visual work that I produce now, and in the future.
Though a graduate (and Master) of a Fine Art Faculty and another University which doesn’t matter anymore, socially speaking I’m a self-taught artist.
Here’s me, probably taking one of my first photographs. I was always torn between experiencing and observing life. At one point I understood that they are interchangeable because each one, observing what you experience and experiencing what you observe, are part of the same continuum.
Im not saying this, experts do: the world we see “out there” is what actually our brain recreates inside our heads, after filtering the information which reaches our senses, after passing it through our own past experiences.
Art is the way some communicate with us. It’s a language, it is the Artist saying “this is what and how I see the world, what I think and feel about it from my own perspective”.
Art is not a science so should not be taken as such, as a “message”. One can dive into that World which the Artist creates for us, spend a moment of our lives with a painting, listening to a piece of music or reading a poem. Though it’s the most abstract and subjective language of communication between us, I think it’s the most valuable one. Numbers can be output by a machine. If a painting can be painted by a robot (and it can), it will not be the result of the same Human Digestion and Expression. Ask van Gogh, ask any Artist truthful to him/herself.
I’ve been to the naturist beach ever since I can remember. (that’s me, before color tv)
I saw naked children and adults long before my sexuality started to awaken.
When that happened, it took another mind lane, where nudity was private, intimate, sexual. But that view didn’t cancel my previous one.
Going to a museum I was never aroused by the nudity in art, I hear some people are.
Yes, I giggled when I saw National Geographic photos of African tribes and masturbated when I discovered Playboy. But that again, did not stop me from seeing the Male Nudity as far more than just pornography. Even bombarded by today’s presence of pornography, a naked body for me is first of all a free human spirit and form. When some friends visit, we get naked, because we do that as well on Naturists resorts. And none of us thinks of sex.
The children of the past, think Greek, Roman, Persian Empires, were certainly confronted with nudity from early ages: street slaves, servants, poor people, public baths, whole families living in 1 room.
In some paintings/drawings/statues I create the image of 2 nude men interacting in various forms, even “having sex”. If you want to step in my shoes and see through my own eyes, see it like this: the sex between men for me is the confrontation of manly power, in all forms. One man physically possessing another could actually be the image of the same man, at different stages in his life or in that particular moment. We all could write the “History of Battles with Myself”, can’t we?
Look behind the pornography, scratch the surface. If I wanted to show pornography, I‘d hire some porn stars and take photos or make a movie. In my works, if you see an erect cock while you’re looking at an erect cock, you miss quite a lot.
Im not a closeted man, Im not confused about my sexuality. I think a lot of people, in this day and age, are still uncomfortable addressing the subject of male nudity, male bonding, bromances and all that. Yet during wars, imprisoned, men are free of those prejudgments, they have an “excuse” are free of the scrutinizing society.
If some start psychoanalyzing me, I hope I helped them out with this post. Others, I hope, will enjoy the images I create.
One Eye is Looking, the other Eye is Feeling.