Gerard Huber

Born in: 1949, United States
Lives in: Dallas, Texas, USA
Education: Bachelor of Art from the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa/U.S.A.
Special Student in Art from Notre Dame University, Notre Dame, Indiana/U.S.A.
Master of Fine Art from Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan/U.S.A.
Describe your art in three words: Sensual. Seductive. Subversive.
See More Work:

Juvenes Noctis - Airbrushed acrylic38 x 59 in. $12,000

"My strategy is to employ the sensuality of color, texture, light, illusionistic form, and space as subversive instruments of seduction -- sensual ways of engaging the viewer, as voyeur or partner, into a space that challenges heteronormative assumptions and which demonstrates that same-sex relationships are wholesome, healthy and life-affirming."

What themes does your work involve?
CFA curator, Myrina Tunberg Georgiou, summed up the themes of my work far more succinctly than I could ever have imagined -- "What is significant in Huber's work is not his extraordinary capacity for realism but more importantly his ability to think and create in a post-modern context where the pieces become mesmerizing for the multiplicity and complexity of the content they evoke whether that is a conversation on art itself, on sexuality or the strong man etiquette."
Describe your creative process.
I generally work in a series.I work on one painting at a time until it is finished -- between six and nine months. This time commitment means that I have to feel that the message of the artwork is important enough to keep me fully engaged from beginning to end, for that extended period of time. I chose airbrushed acrylic as my medium of choice because it leaves no trace of any changes of shape, color, composition, etc. beneath the final surface. I can make a million mistakes (and I do!) from beginning to end and no one will ever know. I combine elements from dozens and dozens of photographs, direct observations, and imagination for each and every painting.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
Depictions of naked male flesh have been associated with evil such that the only way a nude male body can be tolerated is if being abused, punished, or mutilated - a sadomasochistic expiation of unconscious guilt about merely having a body, while depictions of female nudity are acceptable, according to John Berger's "Ways of Seeing", because they provide opportunities for an "acceptable" male possession whether in fact or desire. My intent is to invite the viewer to resolve the question of good and evil regarding nudity in general, and male nudity in particular, as well as provide a peacefully sensual way of drawing the viewer into spaces that challenge heteronormative assumptions of male competition, and which demonstrate that same-sex relationships are wholesome, healthy and affirming.
What are your goals and plans as an artist in 2023?

My interest is in de-sensationalizing the nude male body by placing the nude figure in an intimate domestic settings, allowing me to combine my love of the nude male figure, decorative still life objects, and tromp l'oeil effects.
Add to this mix Claudio Bravo's comment that "If someone paints a nude and there's no effect on the viewer in erotic terms, then it's a bad nude." By suggesting that the viewer is in the same room with the nude, the images beg the question of the viewer -- Is the viewer merely a viewer? Is the viewer a voyeur? Or is the viewer a participant or a partner? The reactions that arise in the viewer tell you about yourself and your fundamental values and beliefs.

How do recent advancements in technology affect your art practice? How may recent developments in Artificial Intelligence (image generator software) affect the definition of fine art?
The most recent technical advances in art which I completely depend on in my production are the invention of the airbrush, acrylic paint and slide projectors. Clearly I have barely entered the 20th century. My cellphone and the dials on the dashboard of my car can clearly outwit me. I am reminded of newspaper articles from my youth in which stories of little children, then baboons, and finally elephants making abstract paintings selling for thousands of dollars -- all as a way of ridiculing the Abstract Expressionist painters of the day. I don't believe that any entity animal, child, or mechanical (including AI) can challenge the depths of the soul of an adult human being on canvas.
What is the role of the artist today?
From my earliest memory I cannot remember wanting to be anything but an artist--no dreams of being a fireman, or policeman, an astronaut or whatever... But I do remember vividly sitting on my Father's knee and watching in amazement as he would draw freehand the comic characters from the Sunday morning newspaper. Oh the magic!!!! I was absolutely mesmerized. I still believe that making Art is both magical and utilitarian. Art beautifies our world and enriches our lives along with seducing us to stop ("and smell the flowers") in order to ponder the implications and meanings within the trivialities or significant events in our lives.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
From a purely personal point of view I consider an artwork good or great if it causes a response in me "Damn, I wish I had done that!" While technical excellence goes without saying, Good and Great Art must engage the viewer in a thoughtful dialogue about important matters relating to life and death.
Amplexus Aeternum - Aibrushed acrylic 32 x 46 in. $12,000
Reflections I - Airbrushed acrylic 28 x 47 in. $15,000
Invidere - Airbrushed acrylic 42 x 40 in. $12,000
Sapere Aude - Airbrushed acrylic 39 x 60 in. $15,000
Sequi vestigia admiratorum Veneris Cnidiae - Airbrushed acrylic 60 x 48 in. $15,000
Resurrection - Airbrushed acrylic 50 x 48 in. $12,000
Sub Rosa - Airbrushed acrylic 42 x 39 in. $12,000


This interview was published by Circle Foundation of the Arts. © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist

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