PAUL P. Joins Greene Naftali

Paul P., Untitled, 2022. Oil on linen, 10 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches

Greene Naftali is pleased to announce the representation of PAUL P.

Paul P.'s work puts the viewer on intimate terms with the codes of queer representation, drawing on both what is explicit and what is hidden in plain sight. His varied practice spans works on paper, sculpture, and prose but centers on the painted portrait, with pictures of young men cropped to the neck or chest and rendered in a jewel-toned palette. The faces are not taken from life but lifted secondhand from the archive, often copied from a cache of gay pornography that dates to the 1970s—a bright yet fleeting period bracketed by Stonewall and the onset of the AIDS crisis. The head-and-shoulders view P. favors constricts the libidinal pull of the source image, training attention instead on the figures' parallel expressions of youthful reticence and carnal knowledge. His ease with Beaux-Arts technique also nods to the tacit homoerotics of that earlier period, channeling the “panache and glamour” of Sargent’s portraits, the “mist and murk” of Whistler’s nocturnes. P.’s work embraces refinement and even startling beauty, but that desire is edged with doubt: the men's fates are unknown, and their existence a reminder that certain freedoms may be cyclical, not permanent. P. thus positions his figures, Janus-like, toward layered histories and an uncertain future. "I am searching for analogies," he has said, "and the touching of hands between past and present."

Paul P. emerged in the early 2000s as a leading artist of his generation, lacing conceptual rigor with a renewed interest in the sensuality of motifs and materials. He has exhibited previously in New York with Daniel Reich's namesake gallery and, more recently, at Queer Thoughts; he has been represented in London by Maureen Paley since 2008.

His work is the subject of an upcoming two-person show (with Jimmy DeSana) at KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin this summer, and his debut exhibition at Greene Naftali will open in November.


Greene Naftali
508 West 26th Street
Ground Floor & 8th Floor
New York, NY 10001

(212) 463-7770