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Mike Kuchar

Homosapien, 2018

ink and marker on paper
76 x 56.5cm
About Mike Kuchar
Mike Kuchar began his artistic career in the early 1960s by making playfully absurd 8mm films with his twin brother George Kuchar. While working with punks, drag queens and eccentric queer personalities from the underground scene of the Bronx, the brothers would use image manipulation, layering, and illustration to create surrealist shorts. Crossing over into a somewhat sinister realm, these kaleidoscopic films stretched the glamour and glitz of Hollywood cinema to its limits, where nonsensical narratives and larger than life personas challenged the more classic cinematic elements. Kuchar’s first solo filmic venture was Sins of Fleshapoids (1965), an extravagant sci-fi piece. Following the film, he cultivated a portfolio of drawings of key characters from these works, which made drawing an inseparable part of Kuchar’s process. Highly graphic, with concrete linework, Kuchar’s muscular figures began appearing in comic books and quickly garnered a cult following. Leaning into a camp, kitsch aesthetic, Kuchar amps up hyper-masculine characters such as gladiators, cavemen, soldiers, or bodybuilders, to craft homo-erotic, playful illustrations.These soft-core illustrations seamlessly align with Kuchar’s tongue and cheek film oeuvre. Today, Kuchar's brawny beings continue to traverse the worlds of comic books and cameras.