This partial body of work was a restart. Having withdrawn from my gallery affiliation and the art scene in general, I painted in the hopes of recapturing something I thought I had lost, or finding something I never had to begin with. Hoping to solve my problems in a single painting, I worked on the first of this group, Treat for years (an image inspired by an Italian magazine advertisement), but it was always an elusive piece for me and ultimately unsatisfying. It loosely belongs in this group. Deciding I wanted something more straightforward, stripped-down, and less whimsical, I settled instead on the idea of adapting vintage nudist, beefcake, and cheesecake photography, a simple conceit that afforded me a chance to concentrate on the figure and the paint itself.
Quite frankly, the difficulty of these pictures, stemming mainly from the fact that the figures are all larger than life-size, made them easy to ignore, and when I became distracted by the Russian folktale that would become Tales of the Buffoon, I set down my bristle brushes, leaving two of the works, Couple and Youth # 2, unfinished.