Oleksandr Balbyshev

O. Balbyshev "ST. SEBASTIAN" (2022) Sold

47.2x31.5 in ~ Painting, Oil


I like to look at a beautiful male body. Therefore, I am sad that there are so little masculine sensuality and beauty in the art world. About 30 years ago, a group of feminist artists, Guerrilla Girls, decided to determine the ratio of male and female nudes presented on canvases exhibited at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. It turned out that male nudes are only 15%. And it seems that today the situation has not changed much. On online galleries where I sell my art, male nudes are about 20%.
While the female nude is generally regarded as a staple on the finest of museum walls, the male nude has managed to maintain an air of illicitness up until the present day, continuing to trouble people in different ways.
This phenomenon's root cause is because art history was a “white straight men only” club for a long time. Its creators have used mechanisms of suppression of rights and marginalization of minorities. And the culture of the dominant patriarchal and heterosexual discourses is still influential.
I would like to see our culture represent naked men as frequently as we do naked women to remove the shock value of the nude male. And this is my goal as an artist. I use the male nude to express erotic feelings in the same way that the female nude has been used. I am trying to explore the slippage of masculinity and redefine what it means to be male.
In this series, I integrate a male body's sensual beauty with paintings of world-famous artists like Claude Monet, Van Gogh, David Hockney, Henri Matisse, Amedeo Modigliani, Paul Cézanne, Andy Warhol, etc. This is a kind of reflection on how the art of the last centuries could have been if the male body had not been discriminated against.

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