Jon Campbell for GAY STAR NEWS: "Art is how I discovered my sexuality"

“I think of artists like instruments. We’re shaped a certain way, designed for particular temperaments, but can also be used in ways that exceed the boundaries of our purpose.

Alone or in a vacuum, we’re obsolete. We need the right air breathed into us in order to make sounds.

When I’m painting the landscape en plein air (painting outdoors), I’m empty.

If I’m doing it right, then there’s no ‘I’ interpreting what I’m seeing. No need for a translator telling me: ‘Tree. Cloud. Grass. Sky.’

In a flow state, a green reflection hits my eye like a drum and reverberates through my unique set of tubes and valves. The landscape is breathed through me, and the ‘I’ disappears.

The same feels true for my sexuality.”


“Art and sexuality have always been intertwined in my mind. I was discovering my sexuality while I was sketching Michelangelo’s heroic male figures on a school trip to Florence when I was 12.

Art and sexuality were awakened in me simultaneously; love, adoration, lust and obsession took on a form.

So it’s not a coincidence that I still feel myself disappearing in the presence of men who inspire songs like The Gayest Picture or Lior; gazing into their eyes, I’m a 12-year-old staring up at the David, tracing the contour of his shoulders so intensely that I’m hardly even there.”


Jon Campbell