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Art For Inspiration

In anticipation of his upcoming coloring book release, artist Paul Richmond has been featured here quite a bit over the past couple of days (and we have one more extra-special Richmond post up later today – hint: it rhymes with ‘trunk’). Artists, much more than sports figures and politicians, have always been my heroes. They are the ones I look up to, the ones that inspire me, and the ones that, far too often, go unheralded for changing the world. A work of art has the power to transform lives and alter the trajectory of the universe. It’s not always apparent, and it usually happens on a smaller level and scale than most events that people think of as shaping the world, but though the plane may seem smaller, it’s actually more pervasive and powerful than many of us realize.

When I was younger, I looked for people like me in places like xy magazine. I also looked for recognition in the works of Herb Ritts and Keith Haring, gay artists who celebrated the male figure. As I grew older, I found solace and reassurance in the images of Paul Richmond, Steve Walker, Joe Phillips, and Michael Breyette. Their work showed two men in love, in friendship, in lust, and in companionship. That art was vital in getting me to see myself as worthy of love, and realizing that my love was as true and moving as anyone else’s love.

That’s why art will always matter.

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