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Born in 1953 in North Hollywood, California and raised in Santa Barbara, Patrick was a shy boy who wanted to be an artist. With no guidance and only misinformation for reference, he floundered. Although a kind high school art teacher mentored him and even let him use his studio, Patrick was afraid to broach the subject of his sexual angst with a heterosexual man.
In 1974, a scholarship to the Santa Barbara Art Institute led him to discover the book 72 Drawings by David Hockney (1971). Here he found an artist who celebrated his sexual persona in his work and who glamorized the "good" gay life in Los Angeles, only 100 miles away. However, when Patrick moved to Hollywood in 1975, he discovered that the good gay life does not exist for poor people, "unless, of course," as he bitterly noted, "they are beautiful."
Patrick, believing that he was sexually unattractive, was hopelessly lonely for the affection of an objectified beautiful boy.
In 1980, in New York City to see the Picasso Retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, Patrick made a crucial observation of the sexual autobiography inherent in Picasso's work. Thereafter, Patrick began to paint large canvases based on his personal obsession with erotic loneliness. Three major paintings define his milieu: Boys Do Fall in Love (1984), which depicts a strip show; Flame Steaks (1985), which is set in a hustler bar; and The Mysterious Baths (1985), which portrays a gay bath house. On the basis of work such as these canvases, playwright Robert Patrick described Angus as "the Toulouse-Lautrec of Times Square."
However, his subject matter closed off the commercial art market to Patrick; and the bourgeois gay establishment disapproved of his depictions of the politically incorrect "bad" gay life, the demimonde of cruising, hustling, and loneliness. All attempts to exhibit Patrick's work were rebuffed.
Patrick AngusIn despair that his work would never be accepted...