Ricardo Partida, At My Beck and Call, 2022; Hand-Embellished, Signed, and Numbered Limited Edition Print
Ricardo Partida’s At My Beck and Call explores the ironies of gender and representation in classical figuration through a softening of form, expressive mark making and contemporary iconography. The artist presents an iteration of his “Fag Fatale” as a nod to Diego Velazquez’s controversial Rokeby Venus, a reclining female nude once vandalized in the early 20th century. The fluid composition depicts his own reclined nude, serpentine and effeminate with red fingers and toenails peeking through the rhythmic clouds and soft waves crashing on the verdant shores, yet legibly masculine in face and form. The subject’s gaze confronts the viewer in the mirrored reflection haloed by soft clouds illuminated in the night sky. The artist will hand-embellish the prints with Bombay India Ink, making each piece a unique work.
Originally exhibited during his first solo show Death of a Hero, Rise of a Champion at Deli Gallery in New York, the body of work engages significantly with Carol Ockman’s seminal feminist text Ingres’ Eroticized Bodies, a formal analysis of the neoclassical artist’s shifting representation of the male form. Adopting venusian, feminine qualities, the softened lines further separate heroes and athletes from the Roman gods, specifically by blurring the masculine and feminine and transcribing psychoanalytic qualities to the physical form—the homoerotic male through the female and male gaze. Partida toys with this aspect of Ingres’ legacy—his shift toward creating eroticized works for female patrons—by looking to OnlyFans promotional materials and preview images, obscuring object and subject through heightened anticipation, and creating space for new and underrepresented identities, the “others” frequently ignored in the traditional Western art historical canon.
In honor of Pride Month, ART FOR CHANGE will donate a portion of proceeds from each print sold to the Audre Lorde Project, in support of LGBTSTGNC organization’s mission to achieve community wellness and progressive social and economic justice through mobilization, education and capacity-building. As in all series, artists will receive 50% of the net proceeds of print sales.
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*Unframed prints ship within 1-3 weeks.
*Framed prints ship within 3-6 weeks.