Page 342 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
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322                                     Jack Fritscher, Ph.D.
               Beau Riley wrote in part:

                   William McNeill’s seven colossal-sized works are clearly
               idealizations. They all represent nude males, rendered in a mix
               of black, white and gray media, in a loose, quick, Zen-inspired
               style . . . . The group has been given a satiric name, deadly virtues
               [sic], a warning to the wary not to take the works at face value,
               not to see them as only seven naked men.
                   Thomas Hinde has been equally and oppositely direct.
               His forty-one small drawings are specimens of precise drafts-
               manship, mostly in pencil, a few with washes of ink or paint,
               one washed with the artist’s own shit. The subjects are sado-
               masochistic sexual activity, including bondage, mutilation, and
               the (nowadays) inevitable fistfucking. No reference is made to
               abstractions, to ideals, or to anything which a camera might
               not have seen as well as Hinde. His men, trussed and slung for
               fisting, seem to insist that we not see a male nude, but merely
               the debased and dis-clothed [sic] human object.
                   Clearly Hinde is an eroticist and McNeill is not, but this is
               where the ambiguity begins. Hinde’s cold, even clinical approach
               seems to prevent an erotic response . . . .
                   Both artists are working from the milieu in which they are
               exhibited, the black-and-white, EXPLICIT HELL SOUTH OF
               MARKET, THAT FORUM OF DEPRAVITY [I added caps
               to emphasize Beau Riley’s Jonathan Edwards-like preacher’s
               approach to “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”; or is he
               more a campy version of Harold Hill singing “We Got Trouble”
               in The Music Man.] which has arisen in our troubled day, in part
               as a response to our confusion. We seem to be looking for some-
               thing basic, durable and present which can be used as a referent
               [sic], and we seem to find this in ultimate forms of sexuality.
                   But Hinde’s appreciation of whatever is going on out there
               in the sex clubs and bars and deserted streets is typically Ameri-
               can, short-sighted and mislead by appearances. He is content to
               locate and show the events, the symptoms of this social explora-
               tion, in this case the extreme sex acts themselves, together with
               their miasmic atmosphere of decay, ruin, and disgust, all of it
               neatly, nicely, medically framed under glass on white walls, and
               for a clientele in their dress-leathers.
                   By contrast, McNeill’s approach is typically Japanese,
               understated, lyric, ironic . . . .

          ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 05-05-2017
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