Grin and bear it

By NICHOLAS SCHROEDER  |  June 25, 2010

As if driving home a central point about the work, the 10th portrait stands apart from the rest. The giant head of a glowering Caucasian man, outlined in striking spring colors, hangs on its own gallery wall as if part of a riddle. Elderly, disembodied, slender, and clean-shaven, "Bruce" appears here as a mysterious fount of energy, a guru of immense proportions. Inspired by Bruce Brown, the former director of the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, the portrait of "Bruce" remains undeniably located in Jackson's reworked economy of dominant and submissive roles and relations. The presence of these subtexts only sweetens the pot.

Nicholas Schroeder can be reached at

"HONEY CLING TO ME: THE BEAR PAINTINGS" by Derek Jackson | through June 26 | at Two Point Gallery, 564 Congress St, Portland | 207.699.4107

EDITOR'S NOTE:We garbled a number of facts in the art review above. Seven of the 10 men involved in the project are gay, not all, as we incorrectly suggested in the original subheadline. And the Bruce Brown on whom Jackson’s painting “Bruce” is based is not the late founder of G-MAN (as we previously reported), but the very much alive former director of the Center for Maine Contemporary Art. The artist, Derek Jackson, also points out that the paintings are not about gayness, but rather about men with a specific body type.

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