George Towne is a New York artist who has been painting rich and seductive oil portraits of men. The men are friends, or former partners. Others are sexy friends who have offered to pose. Some of the works can be erotic, some are depicted painted nude, sometimes with bodies which reveal intimate details like tattoos. Other paintings are introspective portraiture, with the men casting discomforting glances or engaged in confrontational attitudes.
Increasingly, Towne has started to amp up the sex appeal in his work, while painting figures in a defined background setting. Attention is paid to the specific light sources falling on the subjects, and he has adopted what he calls a "Painterly Realistic" style which, unlike Photo-Realistic work, still shows the brushstroke.
"The men I paint are usually friends of mine, it's pretty obvious that I find them sexy in some masculine way. So the work at its root is about my obsession with gay male 'Beauty' or my 'Desire'. But I also usually choose friends who have given me something somehow; maybe they've taught me something... or they were there for me at a difficult time in my life." Towne explains.
"Portraiture also fascinates me because it has that element of stopping time. People I love have come and gone in my life, and loss has not always been easy for me to deal with. But if I have been able to paint them, it's like capturing them and holding them with me forever."