With Nudes and Flowers: 40 Watercolours, it is difficult, given the condition of patriarchy, to look at naked bodies partially clothed and not conceive of them as “nude”, that is, containing sensations of sexual exploitation. I do not think Mr Hutter has managed to cross this barrier, even though I find the drawings in themselves, men-loving. If Mr Hutter is to get beyond the sentimentality of application, which unfortunately puts him in the soft-porn arena, and into a real celebration of male sexuality through a male’s eyes, it would be better to leave high camp behind.
It is not enough to be a male artist painting male nudes because, what seems confronting as an act, may be a soft option, given the context of the gay-male sub-culture, unless the artist is rigorous and not aiming to please. Francis Bacon’s “The Wrestlers” which depicts two men on a bed, is ruthless in the rawness of its content. Compare this with Hutter’s “Sick Leave” or “On The Terrace”, both of which I find distasteful. The suffering of the physical disability of the sitters is lost in the banal theatricality.
“The Heat Of The Day” and “Mr O’Murphy” would be more honestly placed in S/M magazines. Most of the rest of the nudes. I feel, could feature in glossy publications which cater for the cult of the young, white body-beautiful male.
“Young Pyewackett” does not fall into this category, and although it contains some sentimental elements, it is at once honest and kindly. It is sensual and loving and it is probably the least ‘thought-out’ in the book. A private drawing which stays private, in that the viewer realises that she/he is privy to a quiet moment in someone’s life, and that is the picture’s strength.
The flower drawings are competent. I enjoyed the confidence of “Field Poppies”. “Peonies” I enjoyed for its craft and overt simplicity of composition.
Mr Hutter, as a watercolourist, is no mean executive, his ability in tackling colour is impressive. I admire the fact that he explores the figure in this medium – few artists do. I do not feel Mr Hutter has pulled the above-mentioned talent and intention into strong imagery about male sexuality, on this occasion.
Nudes and Flowers: 40 Watercolours
Gay Mens Press