365 NATURISTS The Exhibition
- Opening Night: 7pm – 11pm, 5 October 2022
- Exhibition Venue: BBB – Bristol Bear Bar
- Exhibition Dates: 5–15 October 2022
Bold and intimate collection of nude male portraits created during lockdown tells moving story of connection and intimacy in lockdown
The lockdowns of 2020 – 2021 were some of the loneliest and most isolated times in our nation’s history. Naturist artist Marlon Lorenty found a unique and creative way of finding connection and community with his project 365 Naturists: a mission to draw and interview 365 naked men, while naked. What started as an idea to pass the time drawing became a powerful and significant project that created an online and offline community of men using art to overcome isolation.
Now Marlon is holding a special exhibition of these intimate and inspiring drawings in BBB – Bristol Bear Bar, an iconic hub in the heart of Bristol’s gay village. Displaying over 30 works from the project alongside other original male erotica art, Marlon hopes that this exclusive showcase will act as a continuation of the project, sparking conversations and community and spreading the joy of nudist art.
So far Marlon has produced more than 140 portraits, with 225 still to go. There will be a space in the exhibition where men interested in posing for a portrait can submit requests.
In 2021, Marlon Lorenty started the 365 Naturists project to promote naturism, body-positivity, and sex-positivity and to create an international community of men. It consists of 365 drawings of openly naturist or nudist men. But the project is about more than the drawings, it is also a documentary of the impact that the pandemic had on life drawing sessions and the models, the effects of Instagram policies, the boost of naturism and the different stages towards a new normality.
Today, more than 140 drawings have been created over 2 years. You’ll find the walls of the BBB taken over by a mass display of prints of the male form, reproduced from the original drawings made in Marlon’s sketchbooks using black ink, graphite, and colour. You’ll also find a small selection of original drawings and a facsimile of the sketchbooks used for the project.
The first drawing was published on social media 1st January 2021. Marlon called for naturist and nudist men who were willing to share their stories and bodies with the public, and so, to put a face and name to naturist men. They contacted him on Instagram but after struggling with their community guidelines, he reached out to models on Twitter, and later, to other specialised platforms such as Oh Naturist and True Nudists.
At the beginning, he drew his models from photographs sent from all over the world until models showed interest in posing life via Zoom. This was a turning point for the expansion of the project. And after covid-related restrictions in England were slowly lifted, he held the first one-to-one life model drawing session on 29th June 2021 in his Dutch barge moored up in London.
Thanks to this project, I’ve met amazing men who first got in touch with me to be part of my project, but after two years, they’ve become friends, and I’ve realised that the naturist community is a small world –we are all friends of friends.Marlon Lorenty
I was touched by Marlon’s story of using art and the naked body to overcome isolation in lockdown. His drawings, created over Zoom or with social distancing in place, are simultaneously powerful and vulnerable. They bring together an intense intimacy (being naked together) with intense separation (the enforced self-isolation of a pandemic). Born from this historically unique context, the illustrations are such contradictions within themselves, and are very moving.Emma Stirling-Middleton, Curator at The Cartoon Museum.
“During the pandemic, we all felt isolated and alone. I wanted to feel that beyond the male erotica, my art was doing something for the community and help people feel connected. And I believe that naturism can created that feeling,” said Marlon. So far, he has drawn more than 140 men from all over the world, shared stories of men —mainly gay–and the stories of their bodies. According to the artist’s forecast, he’ll finish this project, drawing all 365 men, by Summer 2024.
Marlon Lorenty is an Ecuadorian-born Spanish artist based in London since 2018. And he is an advocator of naturism. With his personal projects, he explores the erotica of male nudity in the context of nature, sex, and desire, where most of his models are men who sleep with men.
Marlon finds inspiration in Queer Art History, Classical Culture and Poetry. His poetry and illustration have been published in various publications in Spain and the USA. His artwork Daphnis and Chloe: Wedding Night was exhibited in his hometown Molina de Segura, Spain. Most recently Marlon has exhibited his erotic artwork at the People’s Art Fair hosted by the People’s Republic of Stokes Croft, Bristol.
Giuseppe @profezia_batimetrica poses in his balcony, in Italy. It explores the idea that naturists men struggled not being able to go outdoors during lockdown in their countries.
Josh @lifemodeljosh (Instagram model) poses in his bathroom, in London. He is open about his naturism. He has been involved in several art projects as model but he’s still figuring out the level of erotism that he’s comfortable with.
Bruno @bb_andrade is a Brazilian nudist man. He said, ‘I am proud of my penis and I don’t think it’s something to be ashamed of’. He’s a journalist and visual artist. He loves being naked at home and he thinks that we need to break taboos related to bodies.
- Start: Wed 5 October, 2022
- End: Sat 15 September, 2022
- Cost: Free
Bristol Bear Bar 2 West St Bristol BS2 0BH United Kingdom
- Wed 7pm – 11:30pm
- Thurs 7pm – 11:30pm
- Fri 7pm – 2am
- Sat 7pm – 2am
- Sun 5pm – 11pm
Website: BBB – Bristol Bear Bar
Organiser: Marlon Lorenty
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Drawings Of 30 Naked Men To Be On Display In New Exhibition via Bristol 24/7