On JB paintings (NB)


So what’s more to love? The smooth clarity of Justin Bieber’s jawline, or the clarity of a Bronzino codpiece? I want double the love.

I know we all secretly love Justin Bieber, even as many publicly denounce his auto-tuned, uber-artificial pop presence… he’s youth! He’ls life! He hasn’t had the biggest and best orgasms yet. Justin Bieber is powerful but easily pliable. We love to see him grow up and mature; we long for him to smoke and date hot teenage-ish people.. and maybe he’s gay. Probably not. But don’t go too far! And these songs kinds suck… Timberlake he isn’t.

Still, we acknowledge his hard work in a business so superficial and fad driven, yet love his vacuous and palpable iconicity, his seemingly never-ending boyishness– a foggy, just-out-of-reach image of sexual pubescence that glorifies youth (like every other culture has only done since forever). Maybe he’s the early 21st century equivalent to Michaelangelo’s David, almost 400 years later. I don’t want to know if he’s had sex. He always seems on the precipice — or his public persona does.

And I know we all love Renaissance portraiture, with its tangible beauty and perverse representation of power trumping the linguistic heavy, dime store vocabulary trappings of the pages of slick glossies we acknowledge (and love — schandenfraude!!) while simultaneously ignoring at hotbed art fairs that do little but simulate the world Justin Bieber navigates daily. The folds of the blue dress in Ingres’s Met masterpiece Princesse de Broglie are as perfect, sexy, and unflaggingly intimidating as Justin Bieber’s face. The subjects of the Renaissance paintings may have only had sex to procreate; sex for pleasure was looked down upon — Botticelli’s Primavera was hung in the Medici’s antechamber to lecture Lorenzo’s wife about the danger’s of promiscuity.

So I want these paintings to be a representation of 21st century sexuality, a culmination of our past sexualities…. A sexuality so impossible and weird and incongruous and frozen that it can be anything we want, based not in the face of human fluids and crevices and creases, but held at an antiseptic and slick distance. A 21st century Canadian redneck-home-prodigy-cum-Usher-cum-American Idol teenage boy’s non collagen angelic face replacing the static and subjugated faces of Renaissance sitters. My paintings are bound, helpless, frozen, glam, fay, absurd, critical, luxurious, and celebratory.

see some here:



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