Man Emerging from a Tree Stump (no date).
Yet another artist I’d be unlikely to have come across had it not been for the web. Andrey Avinoff’s art manages to be both mystical and homoerotic in equal measure and there’s a good selection of his paintings and drawings to be found in a collection at the Kinsey Institute. Avinoff was an entomologist and worked as director of the Carnegie Museum along with that other famous butterfly enthusiast, Vladimir Nabokov. He was also a friend of Alfred Kinsey’s for many years and the art which Kinsey collected seems (perhaps inevitably) more sexual than the artist’s mystical work or his butterfly pictures. As with other artists discussed here, we learn that “he may have been homosexual”, an equivocation which seems particularly silly when looking at his study of a (naked) young man entitled My Special Longing. He was also a Nijinsky enthusiast and one of his portraits has the dancer as a naked faun bestride an overgrown butterfly.
left: Standing Nude Man with Figure of Saint (no date); right: Nijinsky (1918).