Manspreading on a couch

In reserve in case I went one further day in preparing my interview for the Linguistic Society’s COZIL (its LGBT+  committee Z) and needed something to fill this space and serve as a Mary, Queen of Scots notice that I am Not Dead Yet, as in my posting “Watching this space from a couch”: a set of paintings by Michael Carson, of men posing on couches (you see the thematic link). Now I have finished my interview draft — see my posting “What I’ve been writing” — and the manspreading, crotch-focused Carsons are all ready for you.

(I haven’t been able to find reliable titles or dates for these five paintings, which I’ve assembled from a variety of art dealer and gallery sites.)

A low-voltage Mike Carson guy for comparison. Sitting on a ledge or banquette, in  suit and tie, legs open but not spread wide, one hand negligently on a thigh, gaze averted:


About Carson’s painting style, I have two overlapping descriptions, repeated in several locations, but with no clarity as to their ultimate source. One with more plain detail:

Michael Carson is a contemporary American painter. His Impressionistic figural works, often featuring lone women, are set in shallow spaces and rendered with muted, earthy tones. Influenced by the works of painters such as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, John Singer Sargent, and Norman Rockwell, Carson approaches his medium with a combination of realism and painterly flourish. Born in Minneapolis, MN in 1972, he went on to graduate from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 1996. Carson has exhibited his art in several galleries in Minneapolis from 2003 to 2006, notably including Jones & Terwilliger Galleries.

And one more colorful and chatty:

Influenced by the paintings of Toulouse Lautrec, John Singer Sargent, Norman Rockwell, Malcolm Liepke, and Milt Kobayashi, Michael Carson is primarily a figurative artist who likes to tell a story. His figures usually find themselves in bars, nightclubs, cafes, and jazz clubs; even at home in intimate settings.

On to the couches.

One step up: manspreading. Gaze on something — we assume, someone — off to the side. Serious black suit and bow tie. But: beer in one hand, the other hand extended on the couch, perhaps in invitation: come, sit with me:


Two man action. Double manspreading. More informal dress. One man staring into space, the other focused off to one side. (Titled stick to the story in one site I found.)


High-voltage guy 1. Gazing straight ahead with lowered eyelids, manspreading, hand on crotch: negligently sexual? insolently? (Titled Before the Music on one website.)


High-voltage guy 2. Like guy 1 but more intrusive and even harder to read:


#4, posted to Facebook, is where the whole series started. That led me to Pinterest and from there to Artnet and other dealer sites.

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