New York City Boy, oil on canvas panel 11x14 inches by Kenney Mencher

The content of this painting is probably the most important thing to me. As a young man in high school exploring my sexuality, my friend Johnny and I would wander around Christopher Street on Friday and Saturday nights. It was a late 1970s in New York on a hot humid Friday night that I used to see beautiful young Dominican men wearing tank tops and tight jeans cruising other young beautiful men. Some of the things I'm kind of proud about in this painting have to do with paint texture and paint quality as well as color.

For example, I've been trying to build up the texture little bit in the paintings so that they mimic how light something is. The T-shirt and the little square of sky behind his head are slightly thicker paint with a little bit more texture in trying to mimic how the light works. The same with the lighting, I think they call it really lighting in theater talk, along the left-hand side of the figure. Where is muscles in his chest catch more like that's where the T-shirt is sort of built up.

The color in this is really supposed to evoke how it feels in that high humidity at certain points of the day on the streets in New York. In the foreground I tried to make things feel a little bit more like a warm fuzzy haze and then I cooled off the colors into blues and blue greens in the background and reduced how much contrast there is in the shading to the background.

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