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January 26th, 2010

New Cheesecake Boys by Paul Richmond

When I read a post on Paul Richmond’s blog about his next project, I couldn’t help to ask him for another special guest post here: Paul not only is planning to draw more Cheesecake Boys, once of my favorite theme by him, but he has also asked to many gaylebrities to be his models, and guess who is the first? My friend Jesse! Yes, the same Jesse Archer whose movie I adopted and who I had the pleasure to meet in New York last September. More, also stunning handsome Jack Mackenroth and talented Michael Breyette are among them. So, first of all I will let speak Paul and then I asked and posted some comments the aforementioned friends gave me about this experience. 

"I’m excited to give you and your readers a sneak-peek behind the scenes of my new solo art exhibit, CHEESECAKE, which will be opening at the Center on Halsted in Chicago this June. I’m working my pants off (literally, at times) on fourteen new paintings for the show, each one depicting a gay male celebrity caught in a cheeky moment of accidental exposure. The vibe is reminiscent of classic pin-up art from the 40s and 50s, and I’m really enjoying the way these new paintings turn the tables on traditional ideas about male sexuality and gender roles.

I’m also thrilled with the lineup of amazing gaylebrities who have agreed to be models for the pieces, including Jesse Archer, Perez Hilton, Del Shores, Jack Mackenroth, Ari Gold, and Michael Breyette to name a few. Who knew so many cute gay men would let me paint them with their pants down?

For each subject, I’m devising a pin-up scenario that somehow relates to their profession. For example, Del Shores is filming a steamy scene from Sordid Lives when he inadvertently becomes the star of the show as his loose pants slip to the ground. In another piece, Mike Ruiz is shown squatting down to get the perfect angle for a photo shoot and his tight leather pants rip open. So many Cheesecake Boys to expose, so little time!

Currently, I’m working on a piece called In Hot Pursuit, Starring Jesse Archer. Jesse has been so sweet, and even helped me connect with several of the other stars who have agreed to participate. And how do I repay him? By casting him in a gay version of a horror/slasher film with a scary monster chasing him through the forest as treacherous branches rip his skimpy outfit to shreds!

In order to convey the concept to each of my models, I put together a rough, digital comp (usually using myself as a stand-in subject) and e-mail it to them. Here’s the comp for Jesse’s piece (with some majorly Photoshop-enhanced abs!): 

comp for Jesse’s pieceCollapse ) 

In return, Jesse sent me a lovely selection of photographs to choose from with him imitating the pose. Here’s my favorite: 

Using his photos, I then created a sketch for the painting: 

sketch for the paintingCollapse ) 

And here’s the progress so far:

I am so excited to be preparing for my first solo show in Chicago, and I can’t wait for my Cheesecake Boys to experience Pride month in Boystown. It should be quite a revealing experience for everyone! If you would like to be first in line to see all of these boys and their impending wardrobe malfunctions, I invite you to sign up for my e-mail newsletter here: www.eepurl.com/bxNm  

Next up on the agenda, Darryl Stephens (from Noah’s Arc) in a reinterpretation of the famous Marilyn Monroe scene from The Seven Year Itch…

Darryl Stephens as Marilyn MonroeCollapse ) 

" - Paul Richmond

Thank you Paul! I'm so glad to see among the gaylebrities some "old" friends (old not for age!) of my LiveJournal, and I asked them to "comment" on their experience as Cheesecake Boys: 

Jesse ArcherCollapse ) 

"I've never been painted before and its an honor because Paul is so talented. I also love his concept for me. I can't think of anything better than an homage to female slasher victims who can't keep their clothes on!" Jesse

As always I remember that Jesse's movie, both as actor than screenwriter, Violet Tendencies, my first "adopted" movie, is planned to be released in 2010. 

Jack MacKenrothCollapse ) 

And since Jack lately graced some magazine covers ;-) double picture for him!

Jack MacKenroth on reFRESH magazine coverCollapse ) 

"I met Paul thru Facebook I believe and then he emailed me asking me if it would be OK to paint me as a Cheesecake Boy. I took a look at his work and I really liked it so I was flattered to be included. I love the arts in all forms and do anything I can to support them. He's very talented and I am looking forward to the final piece." Jack

Jack Mackenroth, shared with us his commitment to Living Positive by Design, his 40 birthday and him taking part to the 2009 Outgames in Copenhagen last summer. 

Michael BreyetteCollapse ) 

"I know I first encountered Paul's work online somewhere, but it wasn't until he contacted me that I got to know him and his work better, and got lured into 'Pauly's World'. He was interested in one of my prints, (I believe he wanted it as a gift for his partner) and wondered if I'd be interested in a swap, since he was an artist too. When I looked at his work online, I went, "ahhh this is the guy who did the wonderful piece with Cher and the boy, and Tammy Faye!". I ended up showing his work to my boyfriend, who really loved the 'Dolly Pop' piece. That's the one I decided to swap with Paul. So it ended up that I gave HIS work to MY partner as a gift, and he just loves it as does everyone who visits." Michael

Michael Breyette is also a wonderful cover artist, we will soon see his work for MLR Press

Sure the world is very small. I know Paul, Jesse, Jack and Michael for different reason (mainly since I contacted them in the past for a post here on this LJ); other than that Jesse Archer and Darryl Stephens were in the same movie, Boy Culture, by Q. Allan Brocka, from the novel with the same title by Matthew Rettenmund, Darryl as main character and Jesse in a little role; Jesse and Jack Mackenroth know each other and Jack will have a little role in Jesse's next movie, Violet Tendencies; and now this special "artistic" relationship between Paul and Michael, with an exchange of paintings for the respective partners ;-) And Jesse just today sent me the poster of Violet Tendencies!

The Geography of Murder by P.A. Brown

This novel mixes with mastery crime, BDSM and romance. Due to the fact that I’m not much into the crime and BDSM, I have to say that I was really glad to discover that romance has a good share, and both characters are really into each other and the love story. Yes, this is not simple a romance, it’s above all a love story.

Before going into details of the story and the characters, I’d like to highlight the nice and original development: each chapter is told in first point of view by one of the two main characters, Jason and Alex, and they pass the ball to each other at the end of the chapter. In this way, both of them have the chance to grow and develop in front of the reader’s eyes, and when the novel arrives to its end, the reader has really the feeling to know them very well, and in a way, it’s more reluctant to let them go.

Jason is a twenty something years old “street” guy; not exactly an hustler, even if he doesn’t mind to do some little “favours” when he needs some cash, and not exactly an addicted, even if he doesn’t mind a bit of drug here and there, he is living on the edge of danger. Then one morning he awakes beside the dead body of a man he has never seen before and with a handsome detective, Alex, who is asking him why he killed the man. I was almost already planning in my mind a clandestine relationship between con and cop, when Jason is found innocent of the crime, and Alex takes it as free pass for the boy.

From this moment on the attention shifts more on the love story between Jason and Alex than on the crime story to find out who is the killer. And probably this is also due to the fact that the killed man was not a “nice” man, a paedophile who, for a reason or the other, never paid for his actions.

The relationship between Jason and Alex starts immediately with an acceleration; as soon as it’s safe for Alex to be “interested” in Jason, and this means the same day he is released from prison, Alex stakes a claim on Jason, practically without asking Jason if he is willing or ready. Truth be told, I think Jason is in a very fragile emotional phase, and he is not able to refuse Alex; it’s not that Jason has to refuse him, Alex after all is “good” for Jason, but I don’t think Jason is ready to embark in an intense relationship with Alex like a BDSM relationship involves. What probably I like most of this BDSM novel is that it doesn’t respect the usual fees, Alex, the dominant, is not the straight-forward and perfect cool man, Alex, like Jason, has some emotional issues, basically the fear to loose Jason, probably since he “feels” to not being ready for the type of relationship he is asking out from Jason.

Both Jason than Alex have multiple layers, and it’s a pleasure to discover them chapter after chapter, with the added help to have the point of view of both characters. It’s clear to the reader that they are perfect for each other, like it’s clear that they have to find their balance.


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