Born in New York, 1977
Currently Lives and Works in London
Bachelor of Architectural History, Bachelor of Science in Architecture
University of Virginia, 1999
Trained as an architect, Bobby utilizes oil and canvas to explore the relationship between male nudity, art and pornography. Prior to relocating to London from New York this summer, Bobby served as a guest critic for multiple studios at both the Rhode Island School of Design and Columbia University. Bobby also founded ARThomos.com, an online community for queer artists to display their work and develop shared exhibitions.
His previous project, Painting Butt, reimagined a conventional pornographic weekly calendar into a series of paintings. His current work focuses on Tumblr as a medium by solidifying ephemeral, electronic images as paintings which are then returned to Tumblr for continued distribution.
Statement of Work
We live in a highly sexualized society, as humans always have. Over the course of the last 40 years, we have attempted to alter that premise, sharpened the sexual point to a broadly held set of beliefs around privacy and visual primacy. The process began the child of indecency codes, defining a soft core and hard core pornography. We codified that a woman’s breasts and mons Venus are less sexually arousing than a man’s flaccid penis. In the cinema we can see the act, hear the sounds, but must obscure the erection. Post-coitus the man walks away, phallus obscured, while the female stands valiantly nude for the camera.
With those codified rules we entered the era of Instagram, Snapchat and ubiquitous cameras. Lecturing our children on the dangers of the internet, the threat of their bodies being publicly exposed forever, we applied age-old rules to their accounts. Instead of being lost in sea of overexposure, nudity was subverted to revenge sites, to the “privacy” of timed viewings and celebrity hacking scandals that reinforced the previous generation’s fear, shame, and control of nudity.
The success of this endeavor to shield society from sexuality by controlling nudity has led to the opposite: the sexualization of nudity. To Snapchat is to seduce. We build barriers around urinals and showers to protect our genitals from salacious, prying eyes.
The gym locker room, once a bastion of comfortable male nudity is now a place for rapid-fire changes executed in a discreet corner. Nude beaches are regarded as the dominions of middle-aged Germans who didn’t get the memo to be ashamed. A generation of men supposedly given the keys to responsible sexual freedom has become almost Victorian in their long board shorts while women’s swimwear approaches the absolute minimum.
The exception to these social norms has existed within the gay male culture, however assimilation of queer culture into the mainstream poses a threat to all aspects of that identity.
My work is a direct challenge to these norms.
Selected Exhibitions & Articles
Selected, SaatchiArt, Artist of the Day, Date TBD
2015, SaatchiArt, New Nudes Collection, Work selected by Chief Curator Rebecca Wilson
2015, Opinion Piece, "ART OR PORN: NAVIGATING MODERN PHALLIC AVERSION" Hunger Magazine
2015, Art Hole London, Solo Exhibition, Dalston Superstore, London
2015, ArtRooms Exhibition, Melià White House Hotel, London
2014, Cult House Pop Up Show, 93 Feet East, London
2010, Painting Butt Solo Exhibition, Providence, RI
Full portfolio is available for download below: