Louis Fratino paints homosexual acts of tenderness using the accessible languages of modernist painting, most notably Cubism. He works in the tradition of figure painting to explore the changing nature of family, masculinity, lust, and friendship in a contemporary world. Fratino’s figures embrace each other in warm and blocky tones, gazing at, kissing, and grasping one another with familiar care. Much in the way that he quotes art historical styles to normalize his figures, Fratino also explicitly references gay men from art history—David Hockney, Howard Hodgkin, and Marsden Hartley, for example—who are not written into a gay art history to challenge the ways parts of gay culture that are and are not currently becoming normalized. Within these various strategies, Fratino’s greatest goal is to promote empathy, especially in what he views as a critical point in history of the decision between assimilation or liberation for the gay community.
Born 1993, Annapolis, MD
2015 BFA Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD