Addicted to novelty since 2001

Kurt Kauper’s Nude Paintings of Seventies Hockey Icons

Artist Kurt Kauper is causing quite a stir in the Canadian media because of his nude (and a little homoerotic, if you ask me) paintings of 1970s hockey icons:

“I was … interested in the way the male nude is received in our culture,” he said. “I think that it’s seen as something dangerous and threatening. And that’s not at all true for the female nude.

“It’s almost impossible to show a full-frontal male nude,” he added. “To show a male nude is to suggest that men and masculinity are passive objects to be looked at and I don’t think that our culture wants to think about men in those terms.”

Here are some not-safe-for-work shots of the gallery installation. These guys–Bobby Orr and the like–are demigods to many Canadians, and so Kauper’s work brings out the puritanical in hockey fans across the nation.

I dig provocative, interesting work where sports and art intersects. One of my favourite books of poems is Hero of the Play by Richard Harrison. Here’s a recording (MOV) of “Russians”, a poem from that book (other recordings are here). In another poem, there’s a terrific line about Jagr sliding the puck under the goalie “like a surprise confession”.