click image for
"player on player"
[photo self portrait, 2002]
Most of PLAYER’s paintings are watercolors, but recently he has found his
clients' demands for oils hard to resist. This medium allows for larger, more dramatic compositions. However, PLAYER adds, "Watercolor is still a favorite medium of mine."
PLAYER’s paintings span a variety of areas. His early work, executed in
pencil, aimed primarily at a physical response. "Pornography, you might call it, designed for masturbation, whether mental or physical."
He tries to retain elements of that in his current work, dealing with issues of masculinity, homosexuality, morality, and life in general. "Like most men," he adds, "I find sex present in 90% of life, and my work reflects this."
Nowadays, PLAYER’s paintings are more about character and relationships. Even when the desired response is purely sexual, he infuses the work with an erotic yet sensitive use of expression, body language, and character. PLAYER’s men are rarely beautiful in any traditional sense: their eroticism isn’t about idealized bodies or faces in a Hollywood sense. Rather, he explains, they are "real, eating, shitting men with lives before and beyond the moment being witnessed -- they are not icons of perfection."
PLAYER avoids photo reference as the basis for his work, except occasionally when necessary for portraiture, but even then he prefers to work from life. "Photo reference (mainly for background) is never used directly," he states; "It is digested, discarded, and then processed mentally." This leads, PLAYER believes, to more consistent painting. It also allows him to pose and view his characters and environments in any way he chooses and as often as he likes. "I feel lucky not to be limited by a camera or a stack of pornography.
I try to give my men a reality that is not photographic but more instinctual, more elemental. I am depicting their personalities first, and then their bodies."