I found the artist, Centaurus, while doing a search for centaur related art. Centaurus does amazing photomanipulation or, if you prefer, photomontage.
The work I most appreciate by this artist is his re-imaginings of famous works of art. He drops one or more male nude figures into works that originally featured female subjects. Sometimes, the results seem completely natural and look as if the original artist would have used a nude male if he could. In other cases the juxtaposition of the nude and the the other figures in the painting not only appear surreal but become humorous. Centaurus calls these works Gay Parodies. They are that, but I feel the name sells them short.
The gender-bending nature of the art makes a definite political statement. There are many layers to the debate about human sexuality, but one of the most confusing aspects to me and, I believe, to most gay men as well, is the attitude of male heterosexuals that only women can be utilized as sex objects. It not only penalizes gay men, but all adult women and men. The attitude has worked against human sexuality in many damaging ways. Too many for me to address here.
Centaurus exposes the folly of this patrician fallacy by showing the impact of a beautiful male body in the place of the formerly acceptable female one. His work makes the male equally acceptable. It raises the male nude form from languishing obscurity to a central position. A position it has long needed to realize. Until we, as a mature and fully functioning society, learn that both sexes are equal and of equal sexual, sensual, and emotional worth, we will continue to function as a group at odds with our full being.
Centaurus makes it possible for the viewer to become aware of the sexual schism in our culture. Accepting ourselves completely as creatures of beauty and individual distinction aids us on all levels. Just think how different our world would be if people accepted their physical beings without conditioned shame and guilt. I daresay that the psychiatric profession and the pharmaceutical industry they are partnered with would rapidly lose their financial standing due to the higher level of consciousness people attained because they weren't living in fear of exposure or rejection.
I don't know that Centaurus recognizes just what a service he is doing by creating these reinterpretations. He's just having fun. He thinks of them as mere parodies. I think of his work as a revelation.
There is nothing wrong with admiring a beautiful male physique, or appreciating any physique of any confirmation for that matter. The society that hides from accepting its inherent sexual identity is truly a sick society. For humans, sex is as natural as breathing air, the warmth of the sun on our bodies, the sweetness of cool water on a hot day, the breeze blowing through our hair. Sex is one of the gifts of being human. It is meant to feel good and to support our emotional and physical health. It is elemental, my dear reader.
That seriously maladjusted individuals worked to thwart our sexual expression for many centuries is one of the true tragedies of human experience. Hopefully, through the consciousness raising works of artists like Centaurus, their folly will pass into the history books as we grow as a race to embrace our true natures.