“Bad Boys” fills the Shredder gallery with Carl Plansky’s (1951-2009) musky paintings of male nudes transmuted into lust incarnate. In oils on canvas and paper, brushstrokes become extensions of the painter’s greedy yet loving eyes as they slowly discover, and devour, the model’s form. Menacing, elegant, (homo)erotic and utterly human, these nudes are painted with Plansky’s trademark thick swabs of color and urgent strokes, giving each figure the sense of being born right on the page. Much like Henri Fantin-Latour with his Rhinemaidens, Plansky’s true love was the nude figure, but these works were rarely shown during either artists’ lifetime. Plansky obsessively created painting after painting of these male nudes, as if equating base carnality with religious reverence. Plansky’s—and the viewer’s—desire to wholly consume these objects of attraction is paralleled by the nude figure’s own power to compel and control through raw sexual power, exposing the complicated dynamics underpinning the act of looking, and being looked at.
[Image: Carl Plansky “Untitled” (2003) Oil on panel 13 x 9 in.]