Out Artist Finds Inspiration with Angels and Demons by Kevin M. Thomas

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Angels and Demons by Andrew Ogus

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Andrew Ogus Photo: Charles Morello

Andrew Ogus has been very involved with angels and demons lately. He’s not re-reading the Dan Brown book of the same name. Instead, he’s focused a lot of his artwork on this theme but, with a twist. And since he’s an out and proud gay artist, of course there’d be a twist.

Ogus has taken the Greek mythological characters and turned them all into men. So whether it is Venus, Persephone or the three Graces, they have all taken a more masculine pose at the hand of Ogus.

Ogus has found a niche market with his “all male” Greek gods that seem to have a broad appeal to a gay audience. And while a lot of his work shows nude well defined men, it’s not meant to titillate, rather one will easily find as much interest looking at the painstaking process Ogus takes to complete his pieces.

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Deity

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Angels and Demons

All of his artwork starts with him putting washes of different colors and textures on paper, which he calls “saucing,” rarely done in the area of printing and drawing. Sometimes the piece ends up with maybe a yellow hue with faint blue strokes running in the background. Or perhaps another day, it is more sky blue with a patterned border put around it, that might have been added using stencils or a press, using litho ink or acrylic. Ogus seems to spend as much time detailing the backgrounds as he does with the finished product. In fact, sometimes, even at this unfinished point, the pieces look good enough to frame.

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Castor and Pollux

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The Judgement of Paris

But Ogus isn’t ready yet. He then takes a series of pictures of models he finds either through referrals, Craigs List, www.dudesnude.com or a Naked Men’s Sketch group that meets weekly at Eros club. Sometimes he goes through hundreds of pictures just to find the pose or facial expression that he wants to draw. Ogus does tell his models how to pose or what facial expressions to make. Currently, they are all either demons or angels. And Ogus, a shy, mild-mannered gentleman, actually is always a demon himself in many of his pieces as he says being an angel “isn’t appropriate.” Guess it’s true a demon would take on a more amiable form to seduce someone to the other side.

Whether his subject ends up as an angel or a demon, full body or just one of many heads on the paper, Ogus works on each piece sometimes up to months at a time until he thinks it’s finished. “And sometimes later when I see it framed, I often want to still make some changes,” he says, admitting though when he’s done, he’s done.

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Castor and Pollux

Ogus’ career isn’t entirely based on angels and demons. This is just a period he’s going through now. He’s done other works in Mythology as well as work based upon fables and done a good number of art with animals. And of course a lot of his other pieces has more mainstream appeal. “My current work really isn’t just for gay men,” he says, “but they have shown the most interest.”

You can see some of Ogus work at  http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/andrew-ogus.html.


Or you can see it in person in December for free!!!

First, you can see his work through City College’s Print Art Show at Fort Mason from Dec. 4-6, 2009. Check it out at  http://fortmason.org/events/events-details?id=1129&start=2009-12-04&end=2009-12-06

Or if you’re in the East Bay on Dec. 5, 2009, Ogus’ work is part of California College of the Arts’ Holiday Fair, more details at http://www.cca.edu/calendar/holiday-fair-0

And if you’re interested in being a nude male model, you can contact
nakedmensketch@yahoogroups.com.

Ogus’ work will be on display at the gay venue Moby Dicks in San Francisco from January 27-March 16, 2010.