Author Archives: Baphomet Nayer

Conference: Adonis The Bussy Boy

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For my conference I decided to animate a poem of mine.  It goes like this:


Adonis The Bussy Boy!

I wish I could flay you alive my love

Let me step into your skin

Let me cast you out

I deserve the cloak of your lean muscled body

I deserve your dick and your chiseled jaw

While your consciousness lays

Broken on the floor

Bleeding out

For me

Sometimes in my dreams my breasts fall off

I see them rolling on the floor

And out of the holes come stars

But for now I must suckle and worship you

Lean Bodied

With the big cock I want

Attached to me

My Eros

I cannot help but look at all of you

And wonder if bathing in your blood would make me a true Adonis

The Adonis that drinks too much

And is eccentric

And goes on benders

And bends you over

And leaves you with big purple love bites

I settle with fucking you

If I can’t take your body

I will have you inside me

Your scent will mingle with mine

And soft kisses

Will replace snatching your skin

And the sight of my own eight inch dick.

Now that this is here, let me take the poem and video apart for you.


The Title- The title makes reference to Adonis, a man so handsome that Aphrodite fell in live with him and uses the term bussy, a slang term for boy pussy.  This title proclaims that this man is both handsome and is trans.  In the trigger warning before the title I mention how the poem and video can be triggering to viewers due to sexual themes and disturbing imagery.  However I end it with a provocation.  Throughout my life I have had to prove and defend my identity, and it has become a near reflex.  The title itself is text following a path, with my legs cut out and with an animated gradient.  I am wearing fishnets and converse for the following reasons: its a look, it goes against heteronormativity, and fishnets have a long history if being associated with sex.


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Stanza One- This stanza is about the experience of sleeping with someone for the following reasons: because you want to look like him and because you’re sexually attracted to him.  However you can’t let anyone but yourself know this because you’re still stuck in the closet.  This experience is violent.  In the video I have cut up the lines of this stanza, and have timed them so they flow across the screen a different speeds and times.  I use a fractal with color changes to keep time to the music.  In addition I have looped four rotating peaches and included a distorted video of me cutting up a kiwi.  This is a play and take on the word/ slur “fruit”.  I am a fruit cutting up a fruit and the peaches amplify that.  My goal with the kiwis was to disturb viewers so they can understand the bare minimum of my experience. 


Screen Shot 2018-05-07 at 11.47.00 AMStanza Two- This stanza is a reference to my future chest, but in the past it was just a distant dream and how to the man I was sleeping with, they were beautiful while I found them horrific.  In the video I use a noise and particle effect to create the idea of the cosmos and over this I used a series of flashing images that represent sexual intimacy (I have taken inspiration for the later episodes of Neon Genesis Evangelion).  This section to me reads as the “body” section.


Screen Shot 2018-05-07 at 11.47.10 AM Screen Shot 2018-05-07 at 11.47.15 AMStanza Three- In this stanza I make it explicit that I desire this man as a man would and how if he recognized that and/ or I was out as one, the experience would have been one of mutual power in addition to one of sexual gratification and validation.


Stanza Four-  The final stanza is me accepting that in this encounter, this man will never see me as a man, so instead I settle with being physically animate with him, which is what I want, while recognizing that I need to transition.


For stanzas three and four in the video I incorporate them both over a video of myself that my current boyfriend took.  In the video he asks me to draw certain things and we talk.  The video represents my present: I am an out gay and trans man with a partner that loves and respects me as I respect him.  The text however represents the past but is also a declaration of my resilience and happiness to it.  Within this section I incorporate the pink triangle and a double mars symbol, both symbols of gay identity.


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This piece feels like a baby to me.  It is a symbol of my masculinity and vulnerability.  It marks a point in my evolution as an artists and person and is a reminder for how far I’ve come.  Also if you’re the dude from this past encounter and reading this: I lusted and had sex with you as a man, and even though I was closeted, you can’t take that away from me. 

Kinetic Text

Frame from work.

Frame from work.

For my kinetic text piece, I animated a short narrative about how I put a word to my gay and trans identity, focusing on my young crush on Freddie Mercury.

 

For this piece my main focus was simply the text.  Because in previous years I have only used visual forms to represent concepts, the use of text as graphics was new and foreign to me, especially since all my life it has been drilled into me that the only use of text and letters was for extremely rigid writing. 
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IMG-5038 Because of the exact nature of the project, I found that using primarily text was liberating.  I focused on aesthetics, how the letters looked and felt with different fonts, and also keeping everything cohesive. 


Because of the subject matter, I wanted to allude to two time periods: my youth in 2011 and the glam rock era of the late 70s.  Because I wanted to focus solely on the text, I kept my visuals at a minimum.  In fact I only used two effects: fractal and noise HLS on the wild layers, used glowing trim paths, and only changed the colors on the soil layer every 30 seconds to a minuet.  In fact I relied on visual repetition for the trim paths and just remixed the same key frames manually.  My only other visual component was live footage from a Queen concert, which I put put a mirror effect on so it would only “open” when Freddie Mercury was on screen.  

The text itself is a mix of 3D and 2D animated text.


While I would have loved to render all my text layers in 3D, in truth I was scared that the file would take too long to render and that my computer would overheat, leading me to 3D animate any text sparingly.  However I know with the right equipment, 3D rendering all the text would have been possible, and would have led to a more compelling reading and viewing experience.  However within the film, I male use of animated text intros and decoder effects to keep viewers interested in the screen.   I animated different parts of text to change color, as if it were rainbow for the very obvious reason: this film is about being gay.  In fact, as a gay man, I make use of a censored LGBTQ+ slur targeted at gay men, and make change to all colors of the rainbow.  In this way I am simultaneously reclaiming and asserting my identity with a slur which is in relation to this story of putting words to my identity.  I also stuck with a prose style for this film, namely because I wanted the work to feel personable, as if I am talking to you at a coffee shop about this, and thus take away a layer of accessibility.  I also found that as prose, the narrative flowed more easily than not.  I also tried to use a loose narrative structure,the film has a clear beginning and end, even though both do not amount to much and they shouldn’t, to me my attraction to other men and only men is part of my everyday life and at this point, normal, why should’t I portray it as normal in my work?


Frame from film.

Frame from film.


This film also deals with the beginnings of something that I currently cannot explain any better with language: the fact that men who love men (gay, bi, pan men) experience love and attraction differently from straight women.  I have no idea how else to go into detail about it but one of the reasons I know why its different is this: I have not met a straight woman who was attracted to Freddie Mercury ever in my life. Are there women who are attracted to queer men? Yes, and they sometimes get into relationships if the man is also attacked to women as well.  However, for some reason, no straight women has ever expressed her attraction to Freddie Mercury while many queer men have.  Through my personal experience, and hopefully through more art, I hope to explain how the phenomenon of love between men and lust between men works.
Frame

Frame


In all this project challenged me to think very differently from my usual.  I am used to thinking in form, color, and shape in a the context of pictures, never in fonts, words, or text in general.  I truly tried to tone down my use of imagery to three main components and use repetition as an effective visual device and keep the mood of my piece effective and consistent throughout the film.  Awakening is probably one of the firsts of unknown firsts of many more works of art to come that explicitly deal with identity, gender nonconformity, attraction, and love that come with being a gay man, especially a gay trans man in 2018.

Space Oddity: Saint Vincent’s Bring Me Your Loves in Visual Form

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Saint Vincent’s self titled album holds a very dear spot in my little gay heart.  Every song manages to punch me in the gut, take me back to my first summer alone in the city, and oh yeah this album helped me come to terms with my gay and trans identity. I, Baphomet Nayer, owe my existence to weird album and I’m ok with it.

 

Bring Me Your Loves holds itself up as probably one of my favorite heart break songs ever because of how raw, angry, and anguishing it is.  There are no saccharine woe is me lyrics or melodies here, nope just intense and true anger and desire for revenge.  In my opinion the reason why this song resonates to me is because being angry and vengeful, while a character flaw if actually acted out, was denied to me for so long, and honestly those are my true feelings in any heart break scenario, and to here them so unbridled and raw is freeing.

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For the video I decided on the color scheme simply because Bring My Your Loves sounds like its mostly pink. Then for each repeating phrase (bass line and vocal) I animated trim lines in the shape of a vital signs monitor and just varied them slightly.  To convey the song’s movement and emotion I utilized the following: fractals, hand drawn frame animations, and a live recording of a beating heart outside of the human body.

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The most interesting parts of the video were using both hand drawn animations and live video to convey raw intense emotion.  Since the main simile involves dogs and pets I incorporated those with the following: a dog being split in half, and collard neck bursting, and a mouth drooling.  With the live video of a beating heart I made sure to add several style effects such as plastisze, glow, and emboss, change the colors, and change the aspect ratio of the video so while it was centered, it acted more like a window surrounded by movement. These effects and animations, as well as my use of color and fractals ensured that I would do Saint Vincent, my coming out album, and Bring Me Your Loves justice as an intense, raw, and emotional piece.

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Digital Tools: Art of the Gif

I'm Gay

I will admit, I am subject to my own vanity, and to be honest I deserve to be vain.  I was in the closet for the first twenty years of my life.  This was twenty years of being in “forced drag”, going through the wrong puberty, being unable to seek out gay and trans history due to the fear of being outed, twenty years of being ugly because how my head saw me, the mirror and the world refused to reflect.

A year and a half ago I shook off my forced drag persona and went by my true name: Baphomet.  I started to finally use he/him pronouns. Nine months ago I started hormone replacement therapy.  I can say that since coming out as a trans gay man my physical and mental health has improved.  My relationship to others has improved.  However, as I keep saying, I’m finally hot.

Is this vain? Hell yes it is.  However until you have gone home from a hookup and cried over how ugly you are compared to the man that you just were intimate with, you can’t tell me anything. Until you’ve shaved your head in a rage because you got called “she”, you can shut it.

Like the artists before me such as Warhol, Gaugin, van Gogh, Cézanne, and Scheille; the self portrait is a way to introduce myself in a stylized fashion, and in my circumstance a way to reclaim and reassert my identity and space.  For my first gif I did just that: I drew a self portrait of myself as a cartoon character. I am angry and baring my teeth. My big fur coat is standing on end, as it it were my own fur and I’m some kind of angry mammal.  The animated text reads: “I’m Gay.”  I am shouting this at the top of my lungs.  For so long I have been denied my identity as a gay man and been alienated from my own spaces and even currently I have been asked why I even transitioned if I am only attracted to men, as if the only valid way to be trans is to also be straight.

For my next two gifs, I used a selfie I took on my phone of myself in the same coat as seen in the drawn gif.  By using the selfie I am simultaneously conveying my transness, my gayness, and finally my right to claim my attractiveness as both trans and gay.  For both, created a fur pattern for the background and created a wreath of chrysanthemums (for that hedonistic and vain homosexual aesthetic ala Oscar Wilde).  These two layers served as the background for my selfie.

Glitch Gif 1

For the first gif I took the original image i created and made raw copies of it.  Then in photoshop I played around with their settings, creating interesting graphics to be later used as patterns.  In a new photoshop document I overplayed these patterns over my original image, with the opacity for each being between 29-40%.  Finally in the time line I played these overlays randomly, and tweeting them to have 3 frames between each original one.  The result is something sophisticated, dream like, and slightly disorderly.

Glitch Gif 2

My next gif I took my original photo and made several copies of it as a .bmp file.  Then I individually converted each file to a .txt file.  Within the .txt files I cut and pasted random lines of text from the middle and moved them around.  Finally I converted my corrupt .txt files back into .bmp files, and took screenshots of each (photoshop is too smart to open and read corrupted files).  Finally I took my original photo, new corrupted photos, and my texture graphics into photoshop and made a glitch gif.  Within the gif the images are dispersed and played randomly between each other with the texture images (again set at between 29-40%) also being randomly played over.  The result of this gif is something disjointed, distorted, and in all strangely energizing.  If the first selfie gif was akin to me drinking tea in my boudoir then this final gif is akin to me drinking magic mushroom tea in that very room.

Through these gifs my goal was to proclaim my worth.  I am gay, I am trans, I’m finally handsome and worthy to love myself and to be desired by others.  I am reclaiming my image, my voice, and my expression as an artist in a world that wishes it could cast me out a revile me, when it can do either.  I’m finally the handsome and talented Baphomet Nayer, and I have earned my right to be as vain as my cis and heterosexual contemporaries.