Art
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Michael Breyette
 
      En Castellano

Michael Breyette is a self-taught artist. Like many other fellow artists, he does not recall when he began drawing. But having started at a very young age, he soon realized he had an aptitude for it.

   
Michael Breyette
 
 

 

 

Born in rural upstate NY, a region that can sometimes parallel the stereotype of the red-neck South, his earliest works were often of an escapist nature and typically fell within the realms of science fiction or fantasy. But as his sexuality developed he often felt the need to include female subjects in his creations. This allowed him the freedom to paint his scantily clad men without inviting too many unwanted questions from his conservative family.

 
 
Michael BreyetteUntil the late '90s, Michael's artistic endeavors were mostly just a hobby that he shared with his friends. He felt there must be an audience out there for his creations, but was unsure of how to reach it. But in 1998 he discovered the impact and exposure provided by the Internet. First, he created a personal website which allowed him to show his artwork to the world, and soon he was receiving compliments on his subject matter, style and technique. In 2000, with much success, he started selling his originals via the web, and followed two years later with fine art prints.

In 2003 Michael left his secure day job of 13 years to become a full time artist. Now living in Worcester, Massachusetts, he enjoys the support not only of his close friends but also of the countless fans who have written to share their love of his work.

Was there any artist who inspired you?

While I always feel this question begs for an answer of one of the great masters, or someone who I knew or met personally, it's neither of those.

While I have gotten much inspiration from many artists past and present, the first one that I really latched on to was Boris Vallejo. He's is known for his fantasy paintings of muscular men and women.

My first encounter with seeing the male form celebrated artistically was when I was a kid. I would go to the book section in the drug store or supermarket and be captivated by the virile handsome men gloriously painted on the covers of sci-fi/fantasy and the romance paperbacks. That's where I discovered the art of Boris as well as others like Rowena and Frazetta. While my paintings are gay themed and more 'modern life' in nature, this is where I think my desire to paint the male physique initially took hold.

Michael BreyetteDo you see any of your work in a political or activist mode?

Yes...in a way. For myself I think the term social is more fitting than political. Also activist to me sounds very 'in your face'. I think my statements are usually presented in a more subtle way. Perhaps sometimes too subtle, not everyone notices that there's something more than just a handsome man with a jacked body on the paper. I've done pieces motivated by global warming ("Melt"), gay hangings in Iran ("Rapture"), gay repressive laws in Russia, ("Russian Winter") greedy corporate behavior ("Unsuitable") and numerous others. There are also broad social activist motivations behind my work as a whole. They include balancing the presence and acceptability of male nudes with female nudes. In many circles, even the supposed enlightened art world, where the female nude is embraced the male form either gets the "oh okay we'll include a few to be 'fair'" attitude, the '8 year old boy tee hee' effect.

 

What do you think about his work?

 
 
     
 
Painter Paul Richmond
Paul Richmond work

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