Saints are “carnal, gay, and live worldly lives” in the paintings of Arizona artist Ted Fusby.
He specializes in male nudes, including saints and demons. His “Two Saints: Tete-a-tete” (above) is widely used on LGBT spirituality websites. It shows two male saints resting against each other, haloes joined in a moment of bliss.
“A visitor once asked me, after seeing halos on some figures, if I thought that gay people were saints,” Fusby says. “I told him no, but some saints may have been gay. I also believe that, being human, they were probably more carnal than many idealists would like to believe.”
Fusby enjoys teasing the viewer with the unexpected, including modern gay leathermen mixed in with traditional Christian iconography. “I like ambiguous subjects, such as martyrs who may or may not be saints, and S/M situations which may or may not be Christian,” he explains.
Much of Fusby’s art is too sexually explicit to be posted here, but it can be viewed on his website, tedfusby.com. As stated there, “This website celebrates the glories of the adult male nude, and to all those who enjoy male nudes, welcome!” The website includes 26 paintings in his “saints and demons” series, as well as male nudes in landscapes, locker room and other settings.
Born in 1943, Fusby is largely self-taught as an artist. His recent work is done in watercolor and colored pencil, sometimes with additions of metallic watercolor, gouache or ink.
Special thanks to Ted Fusby for permission to reproduce his art on the Jesus in Love Blog. “I will be curious to see if they get any reaction from your viewers,” he says.