What makes a body beautiful?
That’s a question that Colombian-born artist Daniel Marin Medina frequently poses through his illustrations. His work focuses mostly on drawings of men captured in the most intimate positions. However, there’s a certain zest to his style that makes it stand out from conventional nude drawings. The figures within them capture men in positions that make them look as if they were discovering their bodies for the first time. It’s as if the subjects captured on paper were also asking themselves what makes their appearance so alluring. These are men in contact with themselves and the nature of their bodies. Even if they’re caught in the most mature and erotic of situations, the perplexity with which they look at themselves reminds of a child discovering the possibilities of their own being.
The pictures in this parade of sensuality stem out from a project Medina has titled Journal Entries because they all come out from the idea of keeping a visual diary of the beauty he encounters on a day to day basis. The models for the illustrations are people he's met and felt some type of attraction to, be it physical, emotional, or spiritual. The artist asks them if he can take their essence into his art and capture them on pen and paper. Through this method, he has created a journal of the beautiful people he encounters throughout his life. It is, in this sense, an ode to the unnoticed beauty that manifests in people we meet on our day to day lives.
There are times, however, when Medina doesn’t work with real-life models. In these cases, he takes old photographs and portrays the people on them in a sensual position. By doing this, he gives new life to a body that no longer looks as captivating as it did in the moment when the picture was taken. It’s almost as if he resurrected their beauty from oblivion.
Despite the fact that they all exude sexiness, Medina’s illustrations are not explicitly sexual. He portrays an allure that goes beyond primal desire. He doesn’t recur to explicitness to arouse through his drawings. Instead, his illustrations come from the tenacity to give an answer to the question of what makes a body attractive. The answers are never simple, though. It is up to us to pay close attention to the sinuous forms he portrays.
Out of his sources of inspiration, Medina cites Egon Schiele. Although his work is not as viciously expressive, it is clear that he knows how to bring out an erotic dimension to bodies captured in the most bizarre of compositions. Every fold and piece of skin is viscerally captivating. In parallel to the Austrian’s obsession with the female body, Medina discovers a new type of manliness through his minimalist illustrations. He tries to discover his own method to convey raw and pure sensuality.
Medina’s work is simple in its craft and esthetic. Armed with a ballpoint pen, he draws in a minimalist style through clean and sumptuous traces. Yet, choosing wisely upon his subjects and capturing in just the right, inquiring position, he manages to convey the most complex of emotions through apparently simple compositions.
Daniel Marin Medina is an illustrator based in New York City, where he studied illustration at the Parsons School of Art and Design. You can find more of his work on his official website, as well as through his personal Instagram profile.
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