Investigation: Does Antoni From ‘Queer Eye’ Even Know What Complex Art Theory Is?
We enlisted an art history expert to find out.
Antoni Porowski is a lot of things: a member of the Fab Five from the heartwarming Queer Eye reboot, a very handsome man, a lover of at least one book, a thirst-trap curator, and a professional food guy (????).
We can now also add two more feathers to his jaunty hat — underwear model and art historian.
Antoni is now the new face (and cupped balls) of the Hanes underwear brand, which was revealed in an extremely good Instagram post, in which Antoni slyly dropped an art history term into. Cool! He’s almost naked and saying big words, what’s not to love?
Most normal people simply raised their hands to the sun and thanked the lord for this incredible gift of sexy man content.
But for some people, the dropping of ten dollar visual arts terms like it’s no big deal have raised questions, such as:
What the hell is contrapposto? Does Antoni even know what it means?
And if so: is this picture in fact contrapposto?
Just how comfortable is flex fit boxer briefs? Could one fit an avocado in that pouch?
We will answer all your questions.
— Diego (@CeredaDiego) April 12, 2018
What Even Is Art? We Just Don’t Know
It seems almost impossible that a simple word could ever distract us from such generous brand awareness, but I guess art can do marvellous things.
The internet gagged to discover just what ‘contrapposto’ is: is it an ancient word for a hot man wearing underwear? Some kind of spell? A delicious and succulent Italian meal?
that deafening noise u hear is the sound of thousands of gays googling the word "contrapposto"
— Golgotha (@fix_your_face) April 12, 2018
Such was everyone’s confusion, that it was even noted that Google searches for the word dramatically spiked after Antoni’s photo dropped.
It's fun when everyone learns some new vocabulary pic.twitter.com/YPvk31h491
— Jackson McHenry (@McHenryJD) April 12, 2018
As it turns out, the term contrapposto was coined during the Italian Renaissance, referring to an asymmetrical arrangement of the human form.
Typically seen in sculpture, the style involves figures posed with their weight on one leg, allowing for a relaxed and organic tilt to the hips, shoulders, and head. The most famous example is Michelangelo’s David.
From a layman’s perspective, it very much looks like Antoni has correctly identified the posture, utilised the term correctly, and is an actual work of art himself.
More like thirst [con]trap[posto] tbh
— Slade (@Slade) April 12, 2018
the art history nerd in me is screaming ("contrapposto") and the person in me who appreciates hot people is also screaming https://t.co/QnDkZlPSt4
— elana rubin 💖 (@elanarubin) April 12, 2018
The Controversial Contrapposto
However, shockingly for the internet, there were contrasting opinions. Some people felt that perhaps Antoni was using the word in an effort to seem impressive and cool, because everyone knows that deep-dive sculpting terms are the only things that the kids respect these days.
Whereas others felt that maybe Antoni WASN’T using contrapposto correctly.
The Art History major in me calling bullshit. That is not a contrapposto! https://t.co/evMNYOAaJr
— Tara (@fatnotfluffy) April 13, 2018
the art history nerd in me is screaming this isn’t a contrapposto pose bc the whole point in contrapposto classic sculpture is for the symbolism in movement
but my appreciation for hot people and Antoni porowski just decided that i don’t care and I love him https://t.co/7Jzh2hANQI
— kayla (@bcimtrash) April 13, 2018
So Is Antoni’s Photo Contrapposto? An Expert Opinion
Some people say that art is subjective, but those people are cowards.
In order to put this debate to rest, Junkee put a call out for art experts to help dissect and examine Antoni’s photo.
It’s a particular way of standing to accentuate the avocado in your jocks
— mat whitehead (@matwhi) April 14, 2018
We managed to get an art teacher and self-professed lover of art history to evaluate the photo.
“For me, art history helps the world make sense,” she told us. We had a similar feeling when we first saw Antoni’s photo.
First, Juliet helped explain what contrapposto was, defining the stance in particular as “when a model puts all weight on one leg causing the hips to be on an angle and the shoulders fall to the contrary angle…”
She even drew us a helpful diagram.
The Renaissance artists revived it from the ancient Greek and Roman. Think Michelangelo's David. Sorry if it's a bit fuzzy…I'm watching School of Rock. pic.twitter.com/JJLgtlCJoI
— juliet (@juliettas70s) April 14, 2018
Furthermore, our expert confirmed that in intention and essence, Antoni DID create a contrapposto pose in his undies, defining it perhaps as an “unbalanced” example.
“Yes…yes i would. I would even say unbalanced as the leg crosses over. But still a form of controposto.”
Yes…yes i would. I would even say unbalanced as the leg crosses over. But still a form of controposto. This stance was a reaction against the rigid frontal stance.
— juliet (@juliettas70s) April 14, 2018
“Some people get precious with art terms,” Juliet told us later. “But I think if more people use them it would make art/images/media much more accessible.”
So, there you have it! Antoni definitely knows what he’s talking about when it comes to ancient Greek sculpting and taking great photos in your under-daks. Hooray!
Personally I’m very here for the seventh season of Queer Eye where the re-education of hopeless men now includes such lofty goals as painting classical portraiture, natty top-hats and brandy snifter appreciation.
Our next investigation into Antoni Porowski is whether or not he stole a vase from this woman’s grandma.
Antoni, you look fab. More importantly, I HAVE THAT VASE!!! It belonged to my grandma who passed away last November. Vintage Vase Buddies! pic.twitter.com/LAcDlpq1Fm
— Erin Smith (@ErinEliseSmith) April 12, 2018
Patrick Lenton is an author and staff writer at Junkee. He tweets @patricklenton.