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Intimate Details

Man on a Sofa, 36” x 36”.
Man on a Sofa, 36” x 36”.

“I’m not a pervert,” says Cody Pryseski of his repertoire of nude paintings. Sure, Pryseski does post Craigslist ads for his models and invites them to his Canton studio to strike NSFW (not safe for work) poses, but the Maryland-based figurative painter has only one thing on his mind: Making art. “I find the human body inspiring,” says the MICA graduate, “there’s a lot going on under the skin.”

Pryseski’s oil paintings depict everyday characters—a woman with a muted expression, a man slumped on a couch. Their nakedness isn’t necessarily the first thing you’ll notice. His portraits are matter-of-fact and earnest, “I am trying to capture who they are,” he explains.

Portrait of a Female, 20” x 20”.
Portrait of a Female, 20” x 20”.

Each painting begins as a series of photographs and sketches. It can take anywhere from three days to three weeks for him to finish a piece. The lengthier turnaround comes from Pryseski’s perfectionist tendencies. “I have to face them against the wall once they’re finished, or else I’ll want to keep going.”

People have been his singular subject since his days as an undergrad. Pryseski graduated in 1996, although he didn’t become a full-time painter until 2012. Life after college had his full attention. Now that he’s picked up the brush again, he plans to paint forever.

> Pryseski’s work will be on display at The Alchemy of Art in Fells Point from Jan. 7-Jan. 31.

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