“Why This Band of NYC Men Love Painting Each Other in the Nude,” was created by CUNY journalists Joshua Futtersak and Barbara Marcolini, and published by Narrative.ly. Joshua contacted me in February about a class project, which was to interview someone “interesting.” He and Barbara filmed me at my studio and the group at a live drawing session at the Prince St. Project Space in New York City.
Here is the transcript with additional commentary:
“So I chose the name Shungaboy for two reasons. One is I wanted to keep my personal identity separate, but also to create something that is memorable as opposed to a regular, normal name. It is the male, figurative artist; it is the nudist artist; and it’s really become my public identity.
“I started the Men’s Naked Drawing Group one year ago, because I wanted to combine my interest in nudism, and my passion for art and drawing the male figure.
“Unlike traditional drawing groups where you have a hired model, since we pose for each other, it’s quite different.
“When you’re not posing, erections are natural and okay, but stroking is not.”
PLEASE NOTE, the actual sessions are more casual and have a sexy camaraderie.
“I felt persecuted, and it was mostly (about) being persecuted as a gay man. I felt society was really against homosexuality, and even within the gay community, as an Asian gay man, I feel discriminated against.
“Do you want to keep your boots on?
“Our group can help with guys with their lack of self-confidence, in that we have all ages, from 20-year-olds to 80-year-olds, we have gym bunnies, we have skinny guys, and everything in-between. Um, and we’ve learned through posing that every body is sexy; the natural body is quite often sexier and hotter than a chiseled hunk. And the actual posing activity, you know most of us have never posed before; you know, we don’t think we have bodies that we think are worthy of posing, so getting on that model stand is actually a lot of fun. And the guys who do it for the first time, come off the stage saying, ‘Oh, that was fun.’ You know, it might be a little physically challenging to hold the pose, but it’s very empowering.
“I really wanted to develop, who is this persona of Shungaboy? And being of Japanese descent, I used shunga, which is the erotic art form of seventeenth-century Japan. It’s a one-name name, like Picasso or Madonna. And so I really like that aspect of it. I feel that the thing you are most discriminated against is kind of the deepest part of your identity. But a lot of my art comes from that feeling. So rather than showing what is actually representational, I chose, and I choose to use bright colors, they’re not flesh tones; and it’s really showing the world as I want to see it, in a very positive way.”
Filmed by Joshua Futtersak & Barbara Marcolini
Edited by Joshua Futtersak
Music by PalmPoko
Music by Kevin MacLeod (Licensed under Creative Commons: Attribution 3.0)
Special thanks to Shungaboy
Uploaded by narratively on Monday, July 25, 2016
ABOUT Men’s Naked Drawing Group:
A sketch group for nudist male artists (and guys who want to try drawing) where artists take turns posing for each other. Our focus is to draw the male figure and depict masculinity in an open-minded, sex-positive nature not found in traditional drawing groups. When both the model and the artist are naked, they are on equal footing, encouraging openness and camaraderie. Sexy camaraderie and sexy poses are encouraged, but it’s not a hook-up group. This group is for nudist/naturist men (including transgender men) living in or visiting NYC. #nakeddrawing
WHY JOIN? This group is great for many reasons. Here are a few:
Self-awareness / self-esteem / self-actualization
Sexual identity and exploration
Male bonding and community
And of course, ART and just having FUN