Dondi, 12x12 inches oil on canvas panel by Kenney Mencher

 Dondi, 12x12 inches oil on canvas panel by Kenney Mencher 

Painting for me is one of those joyful and almost childlike exercises that bring me all the way back to being a little kid who was learning how to draw faces. Small quick studies of faces are probably one of my all-time favorite things to do. In a way they are kind of like grabbing a hamburger and a Coke as opposed to going out for a large gourmet meal that some of my paintings are.

It's so satisfying for me to be able to quickly sketch in with wet paint and a brush the proportions and shape of the head and attempt to create a likeness of a beautiful otter-ish young man like this. When I shared this painting on Facebook, a couple of my friends asked if they could get his phone number. Of course they can't because he's largely made up. You may ask, what is an otter? Well, according to the Urban Dictionary, an otter is, "A gay man who is very hairy all over his body, but is smaller in frame and weighs considerably less than a bear."

Lately I've been working on a lot of square canvases because I like the cubelike composition. However, one of the things that I try to do when I'm painting is have a more interesting composition rather than a symmetrical or bull's-eye kind of view of the head or face. That's why in this instance, I tried to place the head off center and create a kind of diagonal running through the composition using the flow of his head into his shoulder and placing the majority of his features in the left-hand side of the panel.

I suppose this painting also has a little bit of a story to it especially in terms of the title. I've titled this otter, "Dondi" because that was the nickname that I gave to a friend of mine who looked quite a bit like him almost 30 years ago. My friend "Dondi" was a beautiful young man in his 30s who had large limpid eyes and he reminded me of an old cartoon strip by the same name. Although this isn't a portrait of my Dondi, it's a sort of composite of my memory of his face and a model that I was working from.

This painting is done on a canvas panel that has a archival cardboard center with canvas glued to it. The size is actually very easy to find an inexpensive frame for if you look either here on Etsy or on some other venues. Just look for a framing kit with an open back frame and you can snap this right into the frame and it will only probably cost you 20 or $30.

I've been having some problems with people pirating my art lately and so please only by my artwork from the following sites.


Dial Up Bear, 12x12 inches oil on canvas panel by Kenney Mencher

 Dial Up Bear, 12x12 inches oil on canvas panel by Kenney Mencher 

Who is he talking to? I wanted the painting to be a more intimate and familiar kind of genre scene. The kind of scene of everyday life in which someone is Talking on an old-fashioned telephone rather than a cell phone and is caught up in the moment. That's why I've cropped in so close on the head and shoulders. His lips are parted slightly as if in thought and about to jump into the conversation.

Recently I've been working a little bit more from imagination. This original painting is one of the few rare paintings that I've made from my imagination. I usually need some sort of reference material such as a photograph or a live model to make my art and in this case I was attempting to make a painting based on a sort of shopping list of ideas that I had for both the subject matter and how it would look.

The subject, is one of my favorite homoerotic subjects to paint. A large bearish man wearing a T-shirt or a tank top. There's something so basic and so sexy about middle-aged men and especially bears. In this case he looks a little bit more like a muscle bear because his arms are so thick. I wanted the painting to have a high contrast of light and shadow, this is often referred to by an art buzzword called "chiaroscuro" and or with the spotlighting effect also referred to in Italian as "tenebrism."

This painting was done in the "alla prima" method. The alla prima is an Italian phrase that means 'at first attempt'. It refers to a wet-on-wet approach whereby wet paint is applied to previous layers of still-wet paint, often in a single sitting. Over the years, the technique has been adopted and adapted by artists from Van Gogh to Velázquez.


Bear in Morning Light, 12x16 inches oil on canvas panel by Kenney Mencher


This painting is on Ebay for a one day auction. Bidding starts at $375 

Auction ends 10/28/2022

Bear in Morning Light, 12x16 inches oil on canvas panel by Kenney Mencher

I was thinking about the light and color in Vermeer's paintings when I designed and painted this,

The subject matter of most of my paintings deals with thicker middle aged me often referred to as bears. I'm trying to represent the beauty of older hyper masculine men who often get overlooked by our more youth oriented culture.

In gay culture, in particular in the gay male subculture, gay bears, more commonly referred to as just a bear, is a larger - and often hairy - bisexual or gay man who is seen to portray or display a form of untamed, rugged, wild masculinity, often with a full beard, chest hair, and a lot of other body hair.

Generically speaking, the term bear is used to describe men who portray the aesthetics of working-class manhood. There is also a strong connotation between bears and the rural LGBT community.

Bear culture is often associated with discovering forms of masculinity, as gay men queer what it means to be masculine through the reputation of being kind, sensitive, and affectionate. As such, the bear subculture has made an important contribution to changing the public perception of the larger gay community, by showing that not all gay men have the same physical appearance - in particular regarding facial and body hair - and that there is no one way of being "mainstream gay." In doing so, the bear movement has also not only contributed to bear identity and gay male culture but to the masculine gender role in general.

One of my favorite things to do is to paint small brushy portraits of faces. It's one of the things that I learned to do in high school, I went to the High School Art Design in New York City, where I studied painting with Max Ginsburg and Irwin Greenberg. Greenberg conducted an extra open studio time before school began that he called "The Old Hat Painting Club." We would get to school about two or three hours early and one of us would model for the rest of the students who would begin painting a wet into wet or "ala prima" painting of either the full figure, head and shoulders, or just the face of a single person. We would all dig into our pockets and contribute a quarter or $.50 to pay the model. This was way back in 1979 so that actually could amount to going out for sandwich or a meal.

Greenberg taught us a quick 19th-century style that is often referred to as wet into wet or sometimes ala prima. What this means is we with telling the canvas with some turpentine and a little bit of burnt sienna paint and then start drawing into this soupy mix with the darker brown, usually burnt umber, and draw with the brush. We would immediately start to model the shading or value structure as we painted and we would sometimes wipe out the lighter areas to be able to see the value structure or structure of light and shadow as it moved across the figure or face. You have to work very quickly and sometimes you only had two or three two-hour sessions to complete the painting and our teachers were so skillful that they were able to make a completed portrait, in the style of John Singer Sargent, sometimes in as little as an hour. It was a kind of magic and we strove to learn how to do that. Now at the ripe old age of 57 I'm able to paint beautiful young people and sometimes older handsome men in anywhere between 2 to 5 hours. In the style of my teachers. This painting took about, 6 to 7 hours, I'm not as good as Greenberg.

The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art


Monday, November 7th will be a GALA celebration of Black queer magic fit for ICONS. Honoring the spirits of the boundary breaking Margaret Rose Vendreys, Ph.D., and Honey Dijon, the evening will bring to life Leslie-Lohman’s vision to uplift the power of queer creativity.

Honey Dijon will be back in the city that loves her. We promise to give her the welcome she deserves and we want you by our sides!
Image Description: An invitation to the Leslie-Lohman Gala, honoring Margaret Rose Vendreys Ph.D., and Honey Dijon, announcing the gala hosts. Thank you to our Gala Chairs, Dan Berger, Adrienne During, Michael Manganiello, Kyle Ferari, Thor Perplies, and Anthony Thompson, our Host Committee, David Kaufman, Diane Felicio, Eric Lee, and Host Committee partners, Deborah Bright and Phillip Hales. We are delighted to announce our honoree committee, Paul AlexanderSarah Burke of THEMKimberly DrewLady FagGideönMyles LoftinJason RodriguezJonathan SaundersRichie Shazam, and Andrew Tess. Special thanks to Jonathan Lyndon Chase, Jacolby Satterwhite, Jason Rodriguez, Gant Johnson and Memphis Murphy, for contributing their work to the space. Invite creative by Lauren Jones and Joelle Woodson. Sponsored by Pyxis Partners, Kartell, and 818 Tequila.
We’ve commissioned Jonathan Lyndon Chase, whose brand new show at Company is opening this week to create an award for Honey Dijon. As Jonathan shared, "What a time to be alive! What an honor and beautiful time of celebration of creativity, family, and culture! I’m thrilled to come together with the The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art family and make some noise for the icons Honey Dijon! & Margaret Rose Vendryes, Ph.D! Blessings come in the visions and love they spread!"

We couldn’t agree more 💖 Jacolby Satterwhite, who has collaborated with Perfume Genius and Solange, is sharing stunning, luminescent video interventions and Jason Rodriguez will debut an original dance piece.  Memphy and Gant Johnson, among others, will get us all on the dance floor with iconic sets. More than just a celebration, this gala is a one-night-only opportunity to conjure queer futures and queer magic all in support of Leslie-Lohman’s expansive work in the coming year. You better believe tix are going fast …. GET IN! 

Can’t make the party but want to actively support the only LGBTQIA+ art museum in the world? Donate to LLMA TODAY and partner with us in making  Leslie-Lohman a living space of intersectional queer creation, community, and activism.
Gala Accessibility

Slate is located at 54 W 21st Street, New York, NY 10010. The event will take place on the first and basement level. The entrance and first floor of the venue are wheelchair accessible. The basement is wheelchair accessible by an elevator located one door west from the main entrance. A greeter and elevator attendant will be present for the duration of the event to guide guests and operate the elevator.

Wheelchair accessible restrooms are located on the first and basement levels. Restrooms will be designated and clearly marked as all-gender. 
Lighting for the event will be a mix of incandescent and LED lighting and generally, low-light.

This is a mask optional gathering. ​​Masks will be available at check-in located on the first level. Guests are encouraged to take a COVID-19 test before the event.

Disabled visitors will be admitted with their personal assistant.
ASL interpretation may be provided by Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art with advance notice by emailing at least one week prior to the event.

Please Email for any other access questions or requests.
Museum Accessibility

For in person visits, five external steps lead to our main entrance: a wheelchair lift is available. All galleries are wheelchair-accessible.There is a single-occupancy accessible restroom located behind the visitor services desk. All restrooms are gender-neutral. For requests or more information, please email

The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art (LLMA) is the only art museum in the world dedicated to artistic exploration through multi-faceted queer perspectives. With a collection that includes over 25,000 objects spanning three centuries of queer art, LLMA embraces the power of the arts to inspire, explore, and foster understanding of the rich diversity of LGBTQIA+ experiences.
The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art is supported by transformational funding from the Mellon Foundation, in addition to generous funding from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council. Innovative programmatic support is provided by the Achilles Family Fund; Booth Ferris Foundation; Keith Haring Foundation; and the Henry Luce Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Individual support is proudly provided by the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art's Board of Trustees and Global Ambassadors.

Thank you to Kartell for their contribution.
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The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art is open Wednesday 12-5pm and Thursday - Sunday, 12-6 pm.


GIF Detail: Jonathan Lyndon Chase, Cancer rising from waves, 2019 - 2021
Acrylic paint, spray paint, and marker on muslin 
Jonathan Lyndon Chase
October 29 - December 3, 2022
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 29, 6 - 8 PM
(Gallery 1 & 2)
145 Elizabeth Street

Press Release

To request a preview please click here
GIF Detail: Greer Lankton, Sissy and Cherry on the stoop of EINSTEINS, 1987
Digital C-print
Greer Lankton
October 29 - December 3, 2022
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 29, 6 - 8 PM
(Gallery 3)
145 Elizabeth Street 

Press Release link

To request a preview please click here


145 Elizabeth Street, New York, NY 10012

Wednesday - Saturday, 12 - 6 PM


The 2022 Queer|Art Annual Party
Live from the Whitney!
Thursday, November 10th, 2022
View this email in your browser
Promotional flyer for the 2022 Queer|Art Annual Party, featuring photos from past parties by Eric McNatt, Summer Surgent-Gough, Cayetana Suzuki, and Trace Tsui.


Alexis De Veaux & Wendi Moore-O'Neal to be Honored at the 2022 Queer|Art Annual Party,
Live From The Whitney Museum on November 10th

Queer|Art is pleased to announce the winners of two of our biggest annual awards. Writer, educator, and activist Alexis De Veaux is the winner of the 2022 Pamela Sneed Award for Black Queer|Art|Mentorship Artists and Organizers. And orator and community leader Wendi Moore-O’Neal has won the 2022 Queer|Art|Prize for Sustained Achievement. Both artists are based in New Orleans—a significant regional first for both awards! Four additional artists—stefa marin alarcon, Marie Amegah, Uhuru Moor, and Grace Rosario Perkins—have also been named as finalists of the 2022 Queer|Art|Prize for Recent Work. Winners for all three awards will receive a $10,000 cash prize; and new this year, each Finalist for the Queer|Art|Prize for recent work will also receive $5,000. All three awards are made possible with support from HBO Max.

De Veaux, Moore-O’Neal, and the four Recent Work Prize finalists will be honored at our biggest event of the year, the 2022 Queer|Art Annual Party, on November 10th at 7 PM EST streaming LIVE from The Whitney Museum of American Art. The ceremony will be hosted by activist/drag artist Junior Mintt, and also occasions the reveal of the winner for the 2022 Queer|Art|Prize for Recent Work, as well as the graduation of the 2022 Queer|Art|Mentorship Fellows. The Afterparty, immediately following at 8:45 PM EST, will be emceed by Cecilia Gentili and feature unmissable DJ sets by Body Hack artists Cisne and NYMPH.

Keep reading to learn more about the night's esteemed awards and exciting program, and standby for more details in the coming weeks... we're ready to party with you!



The Pamela Sneed Award for Black Queer|Art| Mentorship Artists and Organizers was founded in 2021 to acknowledge Black Mentors and Fellows from the Queer|Art|Mentorship (QAM) community who uplift critical histories of Black queer mentorship and exemplify steadfast commitment to values shared by the QAM community. This year, judges included celebrated writers, artists, and filmmakers, including Justin Allen, Pamela Sneed, and Stephen Winter. This year, judges honor writer, educator, and activist, author and 2021 Queer|Art|Mentor Alexis De Veaux as a “pioneering force” within the queer community.

Alexis De Veaux, PhD., is a Harlem-born and New Orleans-based black queer feminist writer of fiction, nonfiction and poetry whose work in multiple genres is nationally and internationally known. She is the 2019 Distinguished Speaker for the Anne Frank Project Social Justice Festival, an honor bestowed on her by SUNY Buffalo State College. She is the co-founder (with poet Kathy Engel) of The Center for Poetic Healing, a project of Lyrical Democracies, and the Flamboyant Ladies Theatre Company (with Gwendolen Hardwick). Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies and publications; including Mouths of Rain, An Anthology of Black Lesbian Thought (2021). She is the author of eight books, including multi-award winning works Warrior Poet, A Biography of Audre Lorde (2004) and the novel Yabo (2014), winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction (2015). Learn more at her website.

The Queer|Art|Prize in the area of Sustained Achievement is an annual $10,000 award presented to a US-based LGBTQ+ artist who has enacted considerable cultural impact and demonstrated ongoing dedication to their community over the course of their life and career to date. This year, the adjudication panel—comprised of Barbara Browning, Lia Gangitano, and Alicia Grullon—awards the honor to Wendi Moore-O'Neal, for her commitment to organizing and storytelling within Black queer communities in the South.

As a Freedom Singer and founder of Jaliyah Consulting, Wendi Moore-O’Neal is a Black Feminist butch dyke who works to connect groups like Southerners On New Ground’s mission, vision and values with how everyday work gets done. Wendi uses spiritually grounded practices learned from her family of freedom fighters like story circles and freedom singing as tools for growing inspiration and building democratic practices. Born and raised in New Orleans, she has worked in local, regional, national and trans-national organizations over the last 25 years. Wendi’s heart’s work is rooted in the Deep South of the United States, especially the kind of organizing and mutual care that happens during porch time, around kitchen tables and always sharing good food.


Top to bottom row, left to right: jose esteban abad, Frances Arpaia, Mariam Bazeed, Clarissa Brooks, Antonius-Tin Bui, Kei Kaimana, JL Akagi, Utē Petit, Xoài Pham, Joie Lou Shakur, Anh Vo, agustine zegers.

The Annual Party will mark the end of the 2022 Queer|Art|Mentorship program cycle, which supports a year-long exchange between emerging and established artists in four creative fields: Film, Literature, Performance, and Visual Art. Join us on Zoom on November 10th as we recognize the 2022 Fellows' achievements and formative time together!


The Live-Streamed Event Begins
Thursday, November 10th at 7 PM EST! 

Images from the 2021 Queer|Art Annual Party by Summer Surgent-Gough and Trace Tsui.

The Queer|Art|Prize and Pamela Sneed Award for Black Queer|Art|Mentorship Artists and Organizers are both made possible, in part, with generous support from HBO Max.

The Queer|Art|Prize is a community-nominated and adjudicated national awards program, now completing its sixth year. It was developed in collaboration with the Queer|Art artist community and features a revolving Nominating Committee of esteemed arts professionals from around the country. The Queer|Art|Prize highlights the impact of Queer|Art’s programming and support on a national level and has established itself as one of the most significant awards specifically created to recognize the artistry and contributions of U.S. and U.S.-based LGBTQ+ artists.



Queer|Art is a proud community partner of the Whitney Museum's Education department and a new member of the Whitney Education Community Advisory Network (WECAN).

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