The Man Show

Call it the naked truth.

Although depictions of the bare-assed male form throughout history have always had more than a hint of homosexuality -- from Grecian urns to the works of Michelangelo and Raphael -- Wim Griffith rebukes the stigma that only the swishy set is interested in peeping paintings of dudes dropping their drawers.

"People will generally see female nudes as just an object, but they'll look at the male nudes as a homoerotic thing," says the Lakewood, California-based painter and sculptor, who'll show his work March 26 and 27 at the eighth annual International Erotic Art Show. "While I primarily sell to gay men, there are many women who also buy my artwork."

Griffith's realistic prints of hunky heroes and heavenly heralds -- as well as his steel sculptures of beefcakes and more fantastical phallus-happy freaks -- will be on display during the exhibition, along with manly masterpieces from a dozen artists, including figurative works by Colyn Kelly, photography by Gregg Edelman and Rick Castro, multi-gendered wire art by Brett Orton, evocative drawings by Waxx Warren-Prichard and Larry Hill, masculine and mythical works by Bobby Cook, fetishistic paintings by Lalo Cota, and mixed-media sculptures by John Kaufman and Gregory Nairn.

Nude models will pose for photographers and sketch artists throughout the weekend.

"There's a certain strength and beauty to the masculine form, and it's powerful, dynamic and inspirational," says Griffith. "Classical art often subtracts the humanity of man with an emphasis on immortality, but I like to return the finite, conscious and perishable aspects of the male to the realm of beauty, pain and frailty."

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.