Just around the corner from jewelers Harry Winston, that midtown Manhattan temple devoted to the rituals of heterosexuality, Anton Kern Gallery is hosting an artist whose work could make many a bride blush. Journey up a white marble staircase to the third floor, past the gallery’s bathroom and some primly rendered wall text that warns “this exhibition contains graphic imagery,” and you’ll enter a world predicated on rather different fantasies of coupling.
Here, in a show simply titled Drawings by Mike!, are twenty-two neatly framed ink-and-felt-tip-pen cartoons of tousle-haired Caucasian bohunks engaged in a variety of joyously, nakedly homoerotic situations: skinny dipping, crotch grabbing, pec rubbing, tit sucking. Their bare asses are, without exception, spheric and shiny, like the juiciest apple you’d ever hope to bite. Read More
Mike Kuchar’s over-the-top felt-tip-and-ink drawings of gay male fantasy are weirdly innocent. The underground filmmaker (and twin brother of the other filmmaking Kuchar, George) started dreaming up his bronze-skinned, blue-eyed, naked Vikings and gladiators in the 1960s as commissioned illustrations for privately printed comic books. In the exhibition “Drawings by Mike!,” they still have the bright colors, lush details and graphic anatomical exaggerations of a vintage Mad Magazine cover. Read More
AS AN ILLUSTRATOR, MY AIM IS TO AMUSE THE EYE AND SPARK IMAGINATION, wrote the great American artist and filmmaker Mike Kuchar in Primal Male, a book of his collected drawings. TO CREATE TITILLATING SCENES THAT REFRESH THE SOUL…AND PUT A BIT MORE “FUN” TO VIEWING PICTURES — and that he has done for over five decades. “Drawings by Mike!” is an exhibition of erotic illustrations at Anton Kern Gallery, one of the fall season’s great feasts for the eye and a welcome homecoming for one of New York’s most treasured prodigal sons. Read More
Mike Kuchar is well known for his films. John Waters cites him as his hero, which is a pretty big compliment. But he’s always been an illustrator; the work has just been more anonymous. Kuchar has always been successful in obscurity’s sense. He worked as a magazine retoucher in the 1960s and, after moving to California, became a go-to name in the then underground comic scene. While he and his brother George Kuchar are widely known film directors, Mike has always been drawing and painting, gathering attention of a much smaller audience.
Opening just last week, Anton Kern Gallery has curated an exhibition of some of Mike’s private collection on view through September. The drawings on exhibit have never been published or shown publicly before, so on the eve of his opening, Mike answered some questions I had about the works going into the premiere. Read More