Nudity: the way it approaches you tends to shape your emotional response.
Last week, for example, I was out with my old roommate, discussing his new roommate: “It wouldn’t bother me if the guy walked around totally naked all the time. It’s just that he walks around wearing a shirt with no pants,” he said. “Like, he’s got a t-shirt on with his dick hanging out. It sneaks up on you.” “Does he wear shoes too?” I asked. “Oh no. Thank god no. If he was gonna do that I’d just move out.”
In graphite and pastel self-portraits, Toronto-based artist Zachari Logan has got the perfect approach down. For several years he has sustained a body of work featuring only his own body (and the occasional cat) as a masculine archetype. I especially like his collection of specifically pants-less drawings, which seem to explore the sort of phallic narcissism that my former roommate fears at his current residence.
Logan recently unveiled Beautiful Losers, an epic neoclassical mural based on drawings from a month spent at the Louvre—supplementing his own naked body in mundane daily activities (with cats) as the subject. I’m more interested in Duality, a subtle series of drawings, this time with biblical themes. After viewing dozens of charcoal and pastel portraits that feel almost like photographed snapshots of casual nudity, the nonchalant genital mutilation (circumcision?) in Abraham & Isaac is more than a little jarring.