By Jacob E. Osterhout
Multitasking just got a whole lot sexier: New York couples can now make love and art at the same time.
Artist Alexander Esguerra has spent the last two years inviting couples to create their own Jackson Pollock-esque masterpieces by making love on a paint-covered canvas.
“Love is a powerful creative force,” says the Parsons graduate. “It really makes everybody feel like artists.”
Esguerra began “Love & Paint” back in 2010 after a particularly powerful night of passion, the 30-year-old lower East Sider reveals.
“I woke up one morning after a sexual encounter and my normally organized room was a mess,” he said, “I wanted to artistically capture those moments through the act of sex that our bodies interacted and affected the space around us without bringing in that whole played-out porn spiel.”
He has since helped nearly 50 couples bump and grind while slathered in various colors of nontoxic, water-based paint.
It’s all meant to demonstrate both the universal and inimitable qualities of sex.
“Sex is basically the great equalizer,” he said. “You look at these paintings and you can’t tell if the couple was gay or straight or old or young or married or cheating.”
And while Esguerra enjoys “exploring the power of sex,” and has even created his own sex painting, he is no voyeur.
After covering the floor in plastic, setting up the canvas on a heated surface, pouring carafes of paint and lighting candles, the artist leaves the couples to their own devices.
“When I leave the room, they are in total privacy,” he said. “I tell them to take the paint, lay on top of the canvas and pour it on each other. Look in your partner’s eyes and make love as you would normally. Have fun with the paint, but don’t make it all about the paint.”
Caroline and Tom Law, an upper West Side couple in their 60s, were intrigued by the opportunity to participate in Esguerra’s project.
“I found it very relaxing and pleasurable and freeing,” said Caroline, who is a designer like her husband. “It was just cool to use my body as a paintbrush. It’s like adult finger painting.”
And how did the painting turn out?
“It's beautiful,” said Tom. “The painting is hanging in our living room. Most visitors don’t know the origin, so they just think it is modern art. But if they ask, we’ll tell them how we did it.”
Ondriana and Natalia, a lesbian couple from the West Village who asked to be identified only by first names, said they “have never done anything like this.”
They painted their masterpiece during a party.
“We were in a dark room with a single candle and there were a bunch of people outside the door,” said Ondriana. “But the second the lights went out and the door closed, it was like we were in a whole other world. We just kept covering ourselves in paint. It was magical.”
And they learned something from the process as well.
“Put your hair up,” said Natalia. “It’s easier to get the paint off your body.”
The art project has proven so successful that Esguerra recently turned it into a business. He now sells “Love & Paint” packages, starting at $2,500, in which couples can experience making their own sexual masterpiece in an upscale New York City hotel.
“It has become so much more powerful than sex,” he said. “It is more like relationship therapy, a joyous experience for the couples to celebrate their love.”