The polar opposite of Tom of Finland and Friends.
Ok! I’m finally back in action after a week of no phone/lights/motorcars on the lake up in New Hampshire. Well. Not “no lights” really, but pretty close. No cell phone reception, certainly. Which is always a blessing and a curse. It makes me feel hugely disconnected from people and art and communities that I love. But it’s nice now and then to be able to step back and really evaluate what really matters and how one goes after it.
Today I want to share some amazing art that I’ve been sitting on for a few months, while I tried to figure out what to say about it. What I’ve decided is that these works (especially the newer pieces by this same artist) rather speak for themselves, and that I maybe don’t need to put them in an art history context or compare to similar works.
Crafted by Chaukat, a graphic artist from Mumbai, these works are a departure from the sorts of graphic novel/comic book-style illustrations that I usually find myself intrigued by, and moved to share here. The simplicity of this linework and the thick, opaque pools of color those lines hold inside almost seem to be in stark contrast with the subject matter; extremely adult images, rendered in a style often reserved for children’s toys, and crowd-control graphics. Chaukat (or the King of Diamonds/ ♢K) works almost exclusively in a minimalist style, though each range of images contains varying degrees of detail. The images I’m sharing here are from a range that he produced last year and are what first drew me to his work on tumblr. The shading of pink lapping tongues, fur and stubble-coated bellies, and Greek key style pubes display an attention to detail and nuance that underscores great minimalist work. This is a clear elevation of smutty drawings to thoughtful and lovable works of art that betray a tightly restrained lust for male connection and beauty.
It is worth noting that these especially flat, graphic, almost app-icon style works are imbued with an undeniable joyfulness, which is likely what makes them stand out so strongly for me. Not just a symptom of their rendering style, but in their subjects as well. While they aren’t crafted to show faces or whole characters, they do show cropped framings of great big grins, enthusiastically dripping penises, and radiant, excited connection between male bodies. It is a comfort to know that for every “oh, gross. Why did I just jack off to that?” image or video out there, there is art like this floating around, too. Sharing and flaunting a kind of sexual engagement that transcends shame and race and hot guy syndrome.
Gay Minimalist Art
by the King of Diamonds
It goes without saying that you should totally follow Chaukat on tumblr. But It’s worth taking a peek at his Instagram account as well. He’s also got a little shop set up where you can buy prints or home goods featuring his work.
As I’ve said before, it’s a far better use of your money to support artists like this, than to spend it on the studio porn factories that continue to blame consumers (you and I!) for their own inability to deliver a fresh or meaningful product to the people who crave it. To say nothing of the implicit (and explicit, tbh) racism allowed to run rampant in current, mainstream gay porn.
So if you love penises, send this dude some bucks for his hard work. Or if it isn’t your personal style, send me one of his prints to support his work!