Poster Poster Print, Leather Daddy with a Cigar, by Kenney Mencher (Portrait of a gay bear leatherman in a leather armband vest and cap)


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Leather as a gay subculture traces its roots back to the appearance of US biker gangs in the 1940s and 50s. Leathers were practical, but the rugged masculinity of biker culture imbued the material with an allure that spoke to men interested in men. Among gay men, leather was also a rejection of the tropes of effeminacy and passivity that homosexuality had accrued since the mid 19th century, a disavowal of the “sweater queens” – well-to-do, preppy gay men – of the time. “Leather was everything that the self-consciously effeminate homosexuals weren’t. They were some of the first gay men to reclaim masculinity,” says Eric Chaline, author and historian of gay sadomasochism.

This print is based on an oil painting by Kenney Mencher which was done in the 'alla prima' method. The alla prima is an Italian phrase that means 'at first attempt'. It refers to a wet-on-wet approach whereby wet paint is applied to previous layers of still-wet paint, often in a single sitting. Over the years, the technique has been adopted and adapted by artists from Van Gogh to Velázquez.

In particular I try to approach painting in several ways, I want the drawing skills, color, and anatomy to be accurate but I also try to make the compositions more interesting by avoiding a “bull’s eye” (symmetrical) composition in favor of a more exciting slightly off center or “asymmetrical” composition. I’m also attempting to work with brush work and thick and thin paint in a more stylized and calligraphic way. I want the paint to be thickest where the light is the brightest and thinner in the darker areas. The direction of the brush strokes is meant to follow and amplify the contours of the forms and make it feel more tangible.

The subject matter of most of my work is usually blatantly homoerotic or at the very least queer. I’m trying to ally with other queer and gay creators in representing people who are often marginalized by the rest of the world and make art that speaks to a community that often is silenced.

A bit of stuff about me.

Leather, Tattoos and Bears. Oh My!
Von Black Boot - 5. September 201756

San Francisco is where you will find Folsom Street on google maps and this is where the original Folsom Street Fair took place back in 1984, a full five years before the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was 19 years later that the first Folsom Europe was first celebrated in 2003.

The original leather fetish events took most of their cues from the 1950’s motorcycle scene in the USA as well as the historic uniforms of WW2 – “a la Tom of Finland”. This classic leather fetish attire still stands strong today but is infused with many contemporary influences including rubber, sports, fitness and puppy play.

Some will travel to Berlin to enjoy the unique experience of just relaxing in public in their full fetish regalia to drink a big german ‘Bier vom Fass’, smoke a cigar and catch up with old friends. Others arrive with great expectations of what the notorious Berlin party scene has to offer and arrive ready for their mission, diving head first into an agenda filled with fetish, sex, drugs, and circuit/techno music. Many have spent most of the past year preparing for their Folsom EU experience with countless hours at the gym, eating lean, and possibly getting a little help from chemistry to assist them in achieving their built for action bodies – all too eager for some photo ops in their stretched to the limits leather and rubber.

In the spirit of this season, it is with great pleasure that we have the honor of showcasing the artworks of Kenney Mencher to help celebrate this yearly event. He uses his talents to capture intimate moments of some Folsom worthy males in his artworks. His color palettes and pattern choices are softer by design and his portraits are constructed with generous amounts of paint on the canvas – all executed with an acute accuracy, narrating a graphic novel of testosterone filled stories.

This particular group he shares intentionally spotlights the over 40 crowd and for good reason. With the rampant age discrimination that runs within our community, Kenney willfully chooses to focus on very sexy but more mature models. The artist himself is of this age group and recently gave up his university teaching position to paint full time. He felt that he needed dedicate more efforts to his studio work and speak out about this prejudice and other topics via his drawings and paintings.

Through this series he proves that sexiness is not determined by a number, but rather with an attitude. Either you have it or you don’t, and these guys that Kenney paints surely DO have it. His men are presented in a traditional close-up portrait and tell a very manly story with no nudity, no erections, no sex acts, just very sexy portraits. He visualizes the point that there is much more to sexiness than a dick pic.

With another element of contrast, Kenney does not paint the backgrounds of these fetish portraits with the dark and hard scenarios that we might expect. Instead, his use of pastels and wallpaper like patterns gives each portrait a twist that completely contrasts the macho & bad boy image that everyone envisions. This could represent the juxtaposition of their everyday life with their fetishes, the times before or after the party, or their life of fetish in privacy. Further pushing the notion that these are all basically real people just like you and me.
Most of all have fun this September and be ready to answer when someone asks … Who’s your daddy? (bb)

Keep up with Kenney at his page:

Ratings and Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5
Great service. Delivered quickly and securely. I love it. Kenny's work is amazing.

Rated 5 out of 5

Rated 5 out of 5
Kenney’s pieces are even more amazing in person. The pictures offer a great reference but don’t do the detail of his work and brush strokes justice.

Rated 5 out of 5
Kenney produces wonderful work and was great at following up regarding shipping after the purchase

Rated 5 out of 5
Kenney never fails to impress with the quality of his work. So happy to have another beautiful piece in my collection.

Rated 5 out of 5
This painting came in the mail today and it is even better in person than the image on Etsy! The well-chosen colors, interesting and perfectly constructed composition, and the great use of brush strokes to define the musculature, all indicate that this painting was made by a master artist. I would be remiss, too, if I did not also thank him for his great service, quick shipping, and all the extras he sent along with the painting, itself. Thank you!

Rated 5 out of 5
Can’t say enough about Kenney’s paintings. Beautiful images, a freedom of feeling, just great.

Rated 5 out of 5
Finally got it unpacked. It would be difficult not to slip into hyperbole. A magnificent painting I am thrilled to add to my collection. Thank you so much!

Rated 5 out of 5

Rated 5 out of 5
Amazingly-beautiful!!! I love love love it. Becoming a big fan of the artist. I would highly recommend him. Will be buying more if he paints more silver foxes for sure I’m very excited to own this piece.

Rated 5 out of 5
Great communication with the artist regarding the shipping process. When the package arrived I was very impressed with the care taken - the padding shows he values the work as much as I do. Surprised with the extras he slipped in the package - a watercolor study for the diptych, a program detailing his works and history, and several notecards (that will probably end up framed as well). I’m so happy to have found Mencher’s work.

Rated 5 out of 5
Another stunning piece of art from Kenney Mencher! I'd had my eye on this one for a while, so glad I finally had the chance to add it to my collection. Thank you, Kenney, for sharing your great talent with these fine works of art.

Rated 5 out of 5
Amazing texture and form in this piece x

Rated 5 out of 5
Fantastic piece of art. Just love it x

Rated 5 out of 5
Painting is stunning and I love the imposto thick paint technique the artist has used to convey emotion.

Rated 5 out of 5
I am in love with my newest acquisition. The vendor kept constant communication, and the parcel arrived meticulously packaged and delivered quickly. I will definitely be purchasing more from this store.

Rated 5 out of 5
Perfect addition to our collection. Looks great!

Rated 5 out of 5
Looks even better in person. I appreciated having a variety of print sizes to choose from.

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