Rick Schenk

Partners, oil, ballpoint pen on panel, 24” x 30”

As an out and proud gay man, my artwork is inherently gay, but more specifically my chosen subject matter illustrates characters that are unafraid to speak their truth in dangerous spaces. In my painting “Partners”, I tried to show the different facets of health I strive towards always, all being rooted in connection. The connection between a man and nature, the connection between a man and his own physical body, the connection between humans sexually, the connection to our fellows through culture and brotherly love, and the courage Sacheen Littlefeather exemplified so beautifully when she spoke on behalf of the connection she shared with her marginalized community.

Sex, ballpoint pen on paper, 11” x 14”

“To speak truly to our nature, in a room full of hatred, is the most courageous act any of us can do today, as Sacheen Littlefeather did in 1973, when she stood in front of a theater full of hostile and powerful people and declared her people deserved better than what they’d been getting. I hope my artwork speaks proudly of my gay identity in any space it occupies, and at least partly says what Miss Littlefeather said that night in Hollywood, “ (I hope that) in the future, our hearts and our understandings will meet with love and generosity.”

Rick Schenk
Anxiety, ballpoint pen on paper, 11” x 14”

In my pen works, I have tried to show these same connections and displays of courage, sometimes implied, (Mary’s unconditional love for her son) sometimes in homage to, (the aesthetic perfection of sex workers of the 1970s) sometimes in awe of, (the vulnerability of asking for help through emotional trauma) and sometimes overt, (the desperate plea to address gun violence in America).

Faith, ballpoint pen on paper, 11” x 14”
Violence, ballpoint pen on paper, 11” x 14”

Artist Biography

Rick Schenk (he/him, Dallas, TX, 9/12/1983) is an artist with concentration in tattoo, pen, and oil painting.