SYDNEYSIDERS have the chance to catch the 15th anniversary exhibition of Ross Watson Gallery as part of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival season.

The exhibition not only celebrates this milestone, but it is also devoted exclusively to the exhibition of the work of Ross Watson, a Melbourne artist.

A record 2520 viewed his recent Toronto WorldPride exhibition, and to mark 15 years of his gallery Watson exhibits dynamic new paintings, photography and iconic editions in his renowned style that has earned him a global audience.

A centrepiece of this exhibition is a painting that references Caravaggio’s sexually-provocative Amor Vincit Omnia, and includes model Paul Ciccetti smiling and comfortably naked (see below). It’s Watson’s way of highlighting the moral constraints the Renaissance artist endured.

“Imagine the subject matter Caravaggio might paint if he were alive today, given he was attracted to men, and the decline in the Vatican’s power and influence,” Watson said.

“Artists in his time had little choice about what they painted.”

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British comedian and actor Stephen Fry recently saw the painting and said: “Ross it’s absolutely stunning. Always one of my favourite Caravaggio’s – the cheekiness of the winged Eros combined with the nude is just irresistible.”

Former High Court judge and LGBTI advocate Michael Kirby is also a fan of Watson.

“An outstanding realist artist like Ross Watson is just the right person to help teach honesty to our emotions in art and the essential beauty of sexual truth,” Kirby once wrote.

The exhibition is also in Sydney from February 26 to March 7. Details: click here

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