Websites: DeviantArt, Artwork in comics and publication, Sculptural/doll artworks
Bio: Jozef Szekeres took the leap into gay erotica two years ago and hasn’t looked back. He spoke with Barry Lowe.
It’s not often that a gay artist is as hot as the erotic drawings he creates. But Aussie artist Jozef Szekeres fits the bill. He’s the man who created the poster for the 2007 Sydney Mardi Gras, a giant career leap for someone who has only been doing homoerotic art since September 2006, when he was fired from his job with a leading gaming company for being gay.
“I had four great years with the company but in my fifth year a new supervisor harassed me. Although our art reference library contained The Photographic Art of Playboy Magazine and other books focused on female nudity, and an instructor who ran the Nude Life Drawing classes featured both male and female models, I was in trouble for downloading lingerie-dressed, female pin-up painted artwork. It was considered sexual.
Further, I was in trouble for referencing a topless male (wearing jeans) photo, as the supervisor was adamant it was gay (as he said, he knew what gay was). I took the company to court for unfair dismissal on the grounds of homosexual vilification.
We settled out of court with my acceptance of reproduction rights to the artwork I created for the company.
“Up until then I’d been frightened to express myself through my art, thinking that it would impact my career. So after being sacked, I figured, what the hell, and started doing homoerotic artwork. The first published work was for the MEN Sleaze Recovery Party invite in ’06. That plus seven artworks for (not only) blue magazine (the last issue that went to print) brought me to the attention of Mardi Gras.”
Jozef remembers his first exposure to homoerotic artwork as a young teenager was the Cowboy Parthenon series of paintings by Delmas Howe. He found postage-stamp size reproductions in the first gay magazine he bought. He got to meet his artistic hero in New York last year at his exhibition, Stations : A Gay Passion.
He and Howe were both houseguests of the curator of the Leslie/Lohman Gay Art Foundation.
Before the swing to the gay side in his art, Jozef’s painted works were ‘romantic and sexy’, often of beautiful women. “I worked on many of the Disney princesses; I was known for making them beautiful and feminine ... with thought behind their eyes, so that was a huge compliment.”
For his painted works he is inspired by the Pre-Raphaelites, while his homoerotic idols are Howe, Tom of Finland and Joe Phillips.
“ Pretty much all my new homoerotic artwork has been hand drawn, but rendered digitally, so there are no actual finished original artworks. I’ll be releasing artist prints of several of my new homoerotic artworks, including an art print of my Mardi Gras ’07 poster. The card collection of one hundred of my artworks was born out of legal hardship. I needed to know why I chose my art over money in the settlement. Collecting my artwork in this card set helped me understand it.”
Also included will be female fashion dolls produced from Jozef’s original sculptures.
Currently he is creating 12 new acrylic painted homoerotic, thematically linked artworks for the Leslie/Lohman Gay Art Foundation in New York for his first solo exhibition, as well as co-creating a new Graphic Novel with writer Julie Ditrich.
Article published in SX Wednesday, 06 February 2008
by Barry Lowe
A 100-piece art collector card set
29th Sydney Mardi Gras poster artist Jozef Szekeres has been keeping art collectors happy with his first ever collection of his artwork in print. The Art of Jozef Szekeres: Mermaids & Other Mermers is a 100-piece card set of his artwork ranging from unpublished pieces early in Jozef's career to his most recent published work. The cards are double-sided and in full colour—each piece of art is coupled with explanatory text/information. Many of your favourite comic book characters illustrated by Jozef are featured including Tilaweed, Hyfus and Tentus. Most are family friendly; the last few are risqué. Many of the pieces have never been seen before by fans and collectors.
The card set is available online at for US$30.00/set, plus US$10.00/set postage and handling.
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