My first introduction to the concept of muses — the Greek goddesses who inspired great works of art, literature and culture — was when I went to see Disney’s Hercules at the age of six. What stuck was the idea of a being so otherworldly sophisticated it could inspire mortals to greatness.
So it was a pleasant surprise when I noticed the trend of gay pornstars becoming the muses of artists everywhere. While today’s artists aren’t so much tortured souls as they are oddball post-grads with student debts up the ass, a new generation of creators has arrived, and their muses often take the form of the men and women Jerry Seinfeld once called “public fornicators.”
Maybe it’s that most of the 20-somethings of today’s art scene were born into the digital age, in which spank material is endless, pornstars have multifaceted personalities, and the separation between consumer and marketer is ever muddier. Whatever the reason, it’s never been more post-modernly cool to be a porn model than it is today.
The first real gay pornstar muse of the modern era would probably have to be François Sagat. Not only is he built like a brick shithouse and capable of taking dicks like a champ, but Sagat has established himself as an art-house darling, appearing in avant-garde photo shoots and even serving as inspiration for Toronto’s own undead aficionado Bruce LaBruce, most notably in LA Zombie.
Sagat was even the subject of an exhibit at the New York Museum of Arts and Design last year, called François Sagat: The New Leading Man. He’s basically the new Lady Gaga, only without the propensity for pandering.
Since then, gay pornstars have been popping up in various pieces of mainstream art. Massive muscle bear Arpad Miklos recently appeared in a music video for indie artist Perfume Genius’s single “Hood,” which featured Miklos in a bizarre collection of wigs and masks. Yeah, I’m not sure why either, but it’s artistic, so just roll with it. Meanwhile, eccentric gay pornstar Colby Keller was profiled as an artist and hipster icon on Salon, with specific praise for his intellect, personality and ability to spot penises in seemingly innocent places.
Gone are the days where people sang the praises of the fucked-up, soap-opera antics of the Greek gods; in their place, gay pornstars have risen to inspire a new art-house movement, a group of nouveau muses for homo po-mo artistes. A welcome embrace of gay porn as an art form rather than, as certain people see it, brainless masturbation pieces. And if nothing else, it’s a more coherent artistic statement than that fucking meat dress sported by Lady Gaga.