Danny Gunn is a man of many talents, but what’s really caught our eye recently has been his paintings.
I caught up with Danny to talk about the art of painting cocks.
Have you always drawn or painted?
When I was very young, I used to draw and paint. I used to get an art set every birthday or Christmas. When I was in high school was where I kind of drifted away from painting and drawing.
I started doing makeup around that time, which creatively satisfied me and also blossomed into a fairly successful career. Recently, within the past few months, I’ve started painting again and I’m enjoying it.
When did you start painting cocks?
I was inspired to paint, so I went to the art store and bought a bunch of oils and canvases, got home and looked blankly at the canvas.
I couldn’t think of one thing to paint, I just knew I wanted to paint. So I pulled out my phone to look for inspiration. I found a dick pic, and thought I might as well do a quick study of an easy shape with a lot of colour and texture. That’s how it started.
The series that you’ve been painting recently are disembodied cocks — why are you isolating the cocks in this way?
Originally, it was just a study to get back into painting, but then I started searching for beautiful picture of penises to paint.
I think having them on display as just an object makes it less sexual, but also more regal — if that makes sense. I don’t want it to feel arousing, I want it to look like a phallic entity of some kind.
I think they’re beautiful on their own, but very misunderstood. Penises — specifically, erect ones — are shocking to a lot of people. Vaginas and boobs, or even a flaccid penis, are not as intimidating as a fiery hard cock. I like that they’re rebellious and elusive.
Who are some of the cocks that you’ve painted recently?
The early studies are very impressionistic. I painted Sean Zevran first, then Antonio Biaggi, Trenton Ducati, Francois Sagat, Rafael Alencar, Brent Everett, Cory Kane, Ty Roberts, Ty Roderick, Leo Giamani, Phoenix Fellington, Chad White, Adam Killian, Gianluigi Volti and Austin Wolf.
There’s also been some random internet cocks in there also.
What sort of feedback do you get from the guys that you paint?
A lot of people seem to enjoy them! I’ve noticed a huge improvement in my work since I’ve started painting again.
The most recent pieces have been much bigger and more detailed. I’ve had lots of people show interest in wanting to buy them, but I haven’t sold any yet. Obviously, starting this creative endeavour, my goal wasn’t really to make money.
Do your fans send you suggestions as to who they’d like to see you paint?
I’ve actually made polls and asked for people to give me suggestions. I’ve also asked for people who have aesthetically pleasing dicks to send them my way!
A lot of the requests — as far as porn stars go — have been fulfilled, but I always want more. Especially the guys that I never worked with who were before my time.
Are some cocks harder to paint than others?
Yes! This isn’t because of anything other than the quality of image or reference that I’m working from. It might be a beautiful cock but perhaps it isn’t lit well, or it’s a bad angle, or overall it’s just poor image quality.
When I paint, I look at the image for reference but I don’t trace or use a grid to make the image. I just recreate what I see with paint — colour, tone, light, and shadows. The image has to be pretty detailed for me to get a painting that I’m proud of.
Have you done a self-portrait of your cock?
This has been frequently requested. I may do it.
Any plans for an exhibition of your work?
Yes! I’m working on finding a place in Provincetown where I can have a show. I also have friends who have suggested I do a show in Palm Springs. My goal is to create a decent body of work through the winter, and have enough to do an exhibition.
We want to hear your opinion
Bringing Sexy to Art
Breaking out of Christianity to Discover his True Talent.
I love art, and everywhere I look, there is loads of talent. One day I came across Nik and his amazing drawings of hot sexy men. I was blown away by the level of detail and talent Nik puts into each drawing he does. I reached out to Nik for an interview and was honored that he accepted.
Nik, can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m an early thirties guy from a small town in New Mexico. I grew up in a really conservative Christian family and because of this, I was pretty sheltered from things that our church found transgressive like homosexuality. I find it a little ironic that despite this upbringing, I’ve grown up to become a gay, atheist, artist that draws dicks and hairy bums as a hobby. I went to college to study biology and have worked in laboratories in both academia and industry. I now live in the Midwest with my handsome fiancé where I am finishing up the last year of my doctorate in Genetics.
When did you start drawing and when did you start drawing men?
I’ve been drawing and making art for as long as I can remember. My grandmother is an artist and I spent a lot of my childhood watching her paint and sculpt. She often involved me in her process and would have me knead her clay for the storyteller dolls she made. I’ve always been really close with her and I think that art is a major part of our connection. I was a very quiet and reserved kid, so I spent a lot of my time drawing and reading. My childhood sketches were mostly of dinosaurs and animals — a lot more innocent than what I work on now. The story behind how I started drawing men is a bit unusual. To make a very long story short, in 2012 I had a near-death experience and I am only alive today because a friend of mine was there to save my life. I couldn’t think of a gift grand enough to thank him so instead, I drew a hairy bubble butt on the front of a card and wrote on the inside “thanks for saving my ass”. That hairy booty was the first of what has now become many.
Is it easy to find men to draw? Where do you usually find your subjects?
I primarily use Instagram to find the men that I draw and using that platform, it has been really easy to find muses. I’ve met some wonderful guys on there that have gone on to become the inspiration for my work. People are surprisingly very open to baring it all for a sketch. I live in the middle of nowhere, so I often have to work from reference photos. It’s been really fun to work together with the guys to come up with poses for my sketches. There are also a ton of incredibly talented photographers I’ve met that are kind enough to allow me to work from their photos. I really enjoy the process of taking their images and reinterpreting them in my style. Lately, I’ve been trying to work on doing more art trades with other artists where we each will work on a portrait of the other. It’s been a lot of fun to have the tables turned and get to become the art.
What motivates you?
My motivation to draw men comes from a love of the male form and an appreciation of how beautiful I find body hair. Drawing has also become a major source of stress relief for me, so I’m often motivated to draw to give myself an emotional release. I find the process of drawing body hair to be incredibly relaxing and being creative allows me to use another part of my brain that I don’t get to use in my day job. I’m also motivated by other artists. I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of the queer art community on Instagram and every day I learn something new from these talented artists. Aside from a few classes I took in high school and college, I’m mostly self-taught so these other artists have become my teachers. They motivate me to try new things, take risks, and keep improving.
What is next on the horizon for Nik?
I hope to turn this hobby into a side business. This year I’m hoping to begin selling prints of my pieces and hopefully have my first art show. I also have some ideas for some pins based on some of my sketches which I’m hoping I can make and begin selling. I also want to start working with more color and incorporating other mediums into my work.
Nik is has been a pleasure.
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