Friday, January 19, 2007

Artistic license -- Nudes & Controversy

New York painter takes on race, religion and society’s hostility to male nudity in Atlanta show

By Ryan Lee Friday, January 19, 2007 [, Atlanta, GA]

MICHAEL DAVID KNOWS A CREATIVE mind can be dangerous and painful if it is uncontrolled, if instead of channeling or tempering its array of ideas, it is allowed to freely release its ambitious chaos into the world.The New York-based artist — whose latest provocative exhibit, “Requiem for a Gangster,” opens Jan. 19 at the gay-owned Lowe Gallery in Buckhead — was once the victim of his own mind’s creative excess.....

Lowe says that David’s work maintains a shocking edge that still motivates viewers to think about the deeper issues behind the images. The gallery owner says it is out of vogue to present exhibitions just for controversy’s sake, but David’s collection does include several nude photographs and paintings that Lowe considers the most sensitive pieces in the exhibit.“The images on the cross have a sexual charge that will cause people to feel a little squirmy,” Lowe says of pieces that replace the traditional construct of Jesus on the cross with photos of a crucified nude black man and white woman....

“How many breasts have we seen in the history of movies and how many penises have we seen? It’s still so taboo,” David says.

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