The Italian artist Lorenzo Ridolfi has lived in Rome all his life. He studied and gained his masters degree at the city’s Accademia di Belle Arti (School of Fine Arts), but in goldsmithing rather than painting. He has always been interested in the world of visual arts, architecture and furniture, and has been in involved in art projects including subjects from nature and the exploration of visual space, but he is best known for his extended series of naked men having sex with each other.
As a gay man, he took his early inspiration from other gay artists, especially Tom of Finland, then as the internet expanded he became aware of many other artists depicting homoerotic intimacy, both in the past and present. He believes strongly that the main determining factor for good gay sexual art is the personal experience of the artist, because it is hard for an artist to do a good job with a subject that doesn’t involve them emotionally.
His watercolours have a very particular style, with clean black lines, solid blocks of colour, and pupil-less eyes. Many involve historic settings. As Ridolfi explains, ‘Not having done academic studies, I sometimes find it difficult to draw a human figure from life as it is, so I try to find a synthesis of the figure, then over time this synthesis became a style rather like a graffiti on a wall, depicting only the essentials. I feel this gives the drawings a certain timeless aspect.’