• oil on canvas
  • 48 x 42 in
  • Michael Newberry

Is art about the surface or should it go beyond and uncover layers of intimacy?

An amusing experience about posting nudes on Facebook is that they can be flagged by disgruntled silly people. Apparently, the French government sued Facebook over censoring Courbet's Origin of the World, a nude female figure with her crotch in the center of the composition, on the grounds that it was one of the greatest paintings of Western culture. So anytime I post a frontal nude I include Origin of the World as a reminder to Facebook censors, and I haven't had a problem since.

This painting is also my take on the male version of Origin of World, a relaxed sensual man awaiting his lover and his crotch in the center of the composition. Art experts have a rule about never placing the point of interest in the center. It is actually a good rule especially for beginners, but on a more advanced level of creating art the artist makes his/her own rules. The main compositional rule I have is to paint interesting shapes in the corners.

A painting is of one moment in time, one that I would like to live with for a lot longer. We live with millions of moments the vast majority of them terribly mundane, and if not mundane they can be unfocused feelings of anger, envy, boredom, and etc. Before I start a major painting like Emerging I rack my brain, emotions, imagination, and memories for what moments are the best of the best. I filter out all the shit, and anything that doesn't rise to the level of exceptional.

Emerging is that moment of heightened positive anticipation of a soon to see lover. An unbearably delicious moment.

Inquire about piece: Emerging