Project Claude’s ‘Blue Penis Project’ has been our pride and joy since completing the project back in 2016. In short, we feature fifty photorealistic portraits of a man at his most intimate, and turned it into gay fashion. When we completed the project, we produced a collection of premium quality crop tops, t-shirts, and underwear in any style you can dream of.
Cult following for a gay clothing brand: Check!
As a gay clothing brand, we focus on making premium mens underwear and gay accessories. Our visually striking garments and accessories support being open and confident, especially for queer menswear. For the Blue Penis Project,, we ultimately wanted something intimate yet playful.
So how did it all start?
How can I get my hands on a pair of some of the hottest gay underwear on the market?
“Why do I recognise portrait #17?”
Lucky for you, we’re about to get very intimate.
Oh, the stories…
John. Adam. Martin. Josh. Porn star Dirk Caber.
The list goes on..
Fifty unique and intimate encounters throughout the project:
A quick sketch after a threesome.
Friends of friends clad in underwear lining up outside Claude’s bedroom.
Countless nudes in our DMs on the daily.
A busy couple of months for sure.
The ‘portrait’ part of the project was carried out through Two main processes. The first process was having A model would come to the studio for reference photographs for a future painting. The second process was collating submissions from people that discovered the project through friends or who we had personally approached. From here, the project took a life of its own. The floodgates were open as a gay clothing brand, with no shortage of source material. Everyone wanted to be a part of it, and who doesn’t like looking at majestic wangs all day?
Blue Blue Blue!
The use of the deep blue throughout the collection is a cultural nod to the technique of azulejos. In addition, this was also a reference to Claude’s Portuguese heritage. Painting a rich blue over white tiles characterises this ornamental technique. The azulejos technique features in everyday places throughout Portugal and Spain, including churches, palaces, schools , restaurants, and subway stations.
But why a blue penis?
The Blue Penis Project artworks switches the natural colour of the fleshy subject matter with the rich and appealing shade of blue. It balances hyper-realism and abstraction and detaches the viewer from any guilt associated with public sexuality. In particular, the blue changes the perception and interpretation of the subject matter by disassociating with intimate flesh-tones. I’d probably just hang them up in my room and lock the door for a few hours. It challenges the idea that sexual prowess and masculinity are measured by the size of a man’s manhood.
“Painted blue, the subjects become objects of appreciation full of detail and intricacies.”Claude, 2016
Major influences for the work include the incredible photographer Venfield 8, who uses the phallus to display everyday objects. Uber talented British ballpoint pen artist Cary Kwok is another inspiration, as well as porn in general. The more references, the better, right?
The art of the portrait
The Blue Penis Project’s style is actually influenced by Renaissance portraiture, and how it captures an individual in a moment in time. Sex, sexuality, and our body are so deeply woven in to contemporary queer culture that we’ve evolved from how we identify, experience, and share our self-image. Instead of sending a portrait of ourselves, we send a ‘portrait’ of our penis. These painted ‘portraits’ were created to challenge the idea that sexual prowess or notions of masculinity were measured by penis size.
The project is fundamentally a celebration of taking pride in masculine diversity and individuality. Like our faces and fingerprints, everyone’s manhood is different. We perceive them as part of our identity as gay men, so we should so why not admire them outside of sexual objectification?
Giver or receiver?
There’s been a lot of love and support for the Blue Penis Project as a pioneering gay clothing brand over the years. Both men and women engage with the simplicity of the idea behind the collection. For example, discussions of which portrait would be the best ‘fit’ for someone are common. There is a delicate balance of quenching our carnal desire to see nudity while creating a platform for conversation about intimate subject matter. We’re stimulating others to ask what a penis represents beyond a sexual context. How important is it to our identity?
The project is a personal piece that became a psychological experiment in how people engage with being painted. Surprisingly, men would also find similarities with their own manhood in some of the portraits.
Growing and showing
The Blue Penis Project aims at removing stigma and censorship in a playful manner. Surprisingly, upon completion of their portrait, most models found an inherent sense of pride and self-love. They feel ownership, liberation, and pride from their portraits, and have the confidence to share them with friends and family.
This was the birth of a gay clothing brand that celebrates masculine confidence. We want everyone to accept who you are as a man, whatever that may mean for you. Gay fashion is constantly changing and evolving, and we’re happy to be on that journey with all of you.
With this in mind, let’s get you some Dick – just click on the link below!
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