About

The quintessential youthful male: this is the quest of painter Julian Hsiung. His realistic, oil portraits of idealized contemporary young men, caught just in the midst of movement, are implicitly sexual and undeniably sensual. The only narrative Hsiung (pronounced Sheun) depicts is the present, fleeting beauty of these men beatified by a subliminal halo. In his latest portrait series “Gang of Men” he is constructing a cadre of individuals each with curvaceous muscles, hair, and contours poised to take on the moment. Drawing since his childhood in Beijing and Taipei and living in NYC since the 70s, Hsiung devoted himself fulltime to painting in 2008. Largely self-taught via books, extensive international museum visits, and painstaking trial and error—the occasional oil technique class has not proved helpful. He has been called a “Modern Traditionalist” inspired by such Old Masters as El Greco, Caravaggio, Velasquez, and Bronzino; contemporary heroes being John Currin, Alex Katz, and Francesco Clemente. Imagery is sourced from the internet, recombined, and rendered with a color sense honed during a career as a textile and fashion designer.