The Heart's Filthy Lesson, 30x40 inches oil on stretched canvas by Kenney Mencher
This painting is on Ebay for a one day auction. Bidding starts at $3000 Auction ends Thursday 10/13/2022
These multiple figure paintings have been pretty popular and I feel like it’s somehow my chance to grow and improve my art into a more conceptual way. Although most of my work is about the beauty of the male figure painted as skillfully as I can, the anatomy, shading and textural qualities of the paint, I feel like I’m growing in terms of the subject matter by including more narrative or story telling elements in my art. These new paintings are meant to be a bit of a “thematic apperception test” called by shrinks the TAT. When I was in college, I learned about a psychological technique developed by American psychologist Murray at Harvard University during the 1930s. The idea for the TAT emerged from a question asked by one of Murray's undergraduate students who reported that when her son was ill, he spent the day making up stories about images in magazines and she asked Murray if pictures could be employed in a clinical setting to explore the underlying dynamics of personality. I thought this would be a great point of departure for people looking at art.
I'm trying to take my subject matter a more meaningful place step beyond what I've been doing in terms of my art, where I usually paint a single beautiful or interesting looking man. In this case I was thinking of two more mature men, possibly married, in a relationship to one another. I'm attempting to tell more of a story by including multiple figures in a more complex composition. I've been working with the idea of juxtaposing a clothed figure against a nude figure and trying to tell more of a story and excite the viewers' imaginations. This time it's about two almost tough looking men, the iconography of a tank top, suspenders and a handlebar mustache against the muscular mustache twirling male in the background. I wanted to go beyond the single nude or seminude figure which at times can be pretty predictable as a format in homoerotic art. In The Heart's Filthy Lesson, I'm hoping that the body language and composition helps to tell the story. The almost split down the middle of the canvas that has the larger figure facing towards the viewer, while the other naked figure's torso is turned away but he is still looking at the viewer. I had considered having the characters' eyes looking towards one another but at the last minute I thought it might break the "third wall '' if both the characters seemed to be looking at the picture's audience. I thought it might make a stronger relationship between the viewer and the painting's story. I even imagined they were a third in ménage trois.