Artist Wayne Hollowell's expressive pieces are color-saturated and drenched in pop cultural nostalgia. After tackling gay-fave divas like Joan Crawford and Liza Minnelli, he's now taking on those other celebs of whom gay men can't get enough: Porn stars. More specifically, the dead ones. There's a morbid glamour in the subject matter, and Hollowell doesn't miss a bit of it.
Wilfriend Knight was such a loss, Hollowell painted him twice! (Other version in the gallery.)
His take on the work:
“In the early '90s, I worked at World of Video on Perry Street. Every new Jeff Stryker or Ryan Idol release would cause sheer catfights upon the day of release, with their fans rushing in to check out the tapes. It was almost as bad as the day a Madonna CD came out! I was so starstruck by these gods who seemingly had everything—perfect bodies/hair/faces. I remember seeing Max Grand on rollerblades and getting the same butterflies I had when I saw Kathie Lee Gifford!
“My curiosity only grew as I started to read of the tragic demise of so many of these men who were so idolized by the gay community. A lot if them led lives only Jackie Collins could have dreamed up. I wanted to do a series of portraits that paid tribute to these beautiful and tragic men.
“Now, to watch Roman Ragazzi in action, it leaves me sad, wondering, 'Couldn't someone have helped him?' Or to watch Al Parker, it's like watching a party with the Grim Reaper right outside the door.
“I think these stars come and go so quickly today, but back in '70s, '80s and '90s, they really were icons, and their releases were an event (pardon the pun). This is my way of celebrating their beauty and their tragedy, my way of saying thanks to them for giving it their all.”
Hollowell is currently submitting his canvases (they're 48" X 48") to galleries. For his other work, check out his Web site.