Rather than rendering his subjects realistically, Paul P. flatters and romanticizes them, using a drawing technique typically associated with Victorian portraiture. His tightly cropped, close-up drawings of flowers and the faces of adolescent boys highlight the fleeting, ephemeral beauty of both. The artist used images from 1970s gay pornographic magazines as source material for his portraits, but in denying full body views his interpretations transcend sexual objectification and instead hint at the subjects' emotional complexity. Paul P.'s aestheticized treatment imbues the models with innocence and naiveté, evoking nostalgia for homosexuality before the onset of the AIDS epidemic.
Gallery label from Compass in Hand: Selections from The Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection, April 22, 2009–January 4, 2010.