Enamels by Andrew Kuebeck Purchased by Enamel Arts Foundation
Andrew Kuebeck’s “Identity” series celebrates male beauty and the history of gay representation in the popular media through an audacious body of work, including wearable forms and sculpture that are at once alluring, arresting, and often humorous. His provocative male images are often based on so-called “beefcake” photography, the male equivalent to “pin-up” or “cheesecake” photography popular in this country in the period following World War II. With a closeted, pre-Stonewall gay male subculture as their target audience, these provocative photographs touted the virtues of health and fitness through scantily clad, beefy male figures often presented in exaggerated poses, holding tools or props associated with classic male pastimes such as exercise, wrestling, sport fishing, or archery. These photographs were advertised in the back pages of popular magazines, offering a covert strategy for celebrating male beauty through association with muscularity, sport, and fitness. Kuebeck’s richly layered imagery is both an homage to this genre of photography and an unabashed celebration of the beauty of the male body.
Images: 1) Andrew Kuebeck, "Anthony in Profile," silver, fine silver, enamel, 2021; 2) Andrew Kuebeck, "Cayden in Profile," silver, fine silver, enamel, 2021.