Kyle Penner

The Moonlight Bathers

Class of: 2023

Major: Fine Arts BFA

Medium: Charcoal and acrylic on paper

Faculty: Sara Jimenez

Prompt: The assignment was to create a piece for the semester final based on our personal obsessions.

For my project, I chose to focus on the obsession of Ex relationships.

Compositionally, I drew two male figures, the primary figure being clothed and the other completely naked, sitting on a rocky beach at night. The emotion of this painting is to be told in the body language. The clothed man is staring towards the nude, while the nude looks off into the distant ocean. This exchange of gazes creates a love triangle between the two figures and the great, ambiguous void. Specifically, the gaze of the clothed figure towards the nude is to imply both an overwhelming sense of longing, as well as a feeling of predation. The clothed figure takes on the role of the voyeur, objectifying and infatuating over the naked man. Also, the figures bodies are meant to mirror each other, in order to indicate how in obsessive relationships, I tend to mimic the traits and actions of my subject. Lastly, at no point do the bodies actually touch. However, their feet are only an inch away from each other. This adds to the sexual/ physical tension between them; a sense of closeness but not togetherness.

Materially, I chose to draw the figures skin and hair only in charcoal to provide a dramatic moody feeling. The dustiness and monochromatic qualities of charcoal make the figures look like they’re statues, like this piece is a memory frozen in time. I then went in with colorful acrylic to paint the background and clothing, all with soft blue undertone, draping the entire landscape in the glow of moonlight.