PARIS 2022 | ‘Oh! Charley, Charley, Charley…’ by Charles Ray pushes male sexuality from the bottom to the top  

Paris! I haven’t been to the Ville Lumière since my January 2019 visit with Bert and Wim. Also, this March 2022 getaway in Paris marks the first overnight excursion with Thanh since our 2012 visit of the capital of France. Ten years ago! 

Images in this post are explicit. You will see sexual acts involving penises.

When visiting the the Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection museum, I did not expect to see an artwork as explicit and as (homo)sexual as ‘Oh! Charley, Charley, Charley…‘. Charles Ray (born in 1953) conceived this homosexual orgy of mannequins in 1992. Thirty years ago. 

As advocate of more male nudity and of more shameless homo-eroticism in mainstream art and mainstream art museums, I was on cloud number 5. Because ironically, in a still male-dominated world, where women are way less visible in the public domain, male nudity and sexuality is hidden in the more restricted realm of queer spaces.

From afar.

Oh Charley indeed

The mannequins are depiction of a younger Charles Ray. The mannequins are enjoying an orgy, licking, blowing and preparing for the main event. 

Ray describes the piece as the opposite of the tender ‘The Kiss‘, by Constantin Brâncuși, from 1907-1908. 

“‘Oh! Charley, Charley, Charley…’ also found its inspiration in sexual attraction, but from a different trajectory. When looked at from a different trajectory. When looked at from the other side of the coin, Brâncuși’s cosmic sexuality flips to reveal that your lover is simply a projection of your self! Is there no ‘other’ out there?”, asks Ray, in an interview of 2014

Further reading

Queerness and art

Paris 2022

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