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The male gaze

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Benjamine Lester Benjamine Lester brings passion to his male portraits RICH LOPEZ | Staff Last year, Benjamine Lester went all in on his craft.

He gave up his full-time job to become a full-time artist, and, soon after, he made a splash at Texas Bear Round-up’s vendor market.

His portraits of men — usually furry and/or beefy — attracted many eyes but also many buyers. Lester returns this year to the market which opened Thursday and runs through Sunday at Hyatt Regency Dallas during TBRU 27. “That was my first TBRU, and it was my most successful part of the year,” Lester said by phone. “I am hoping for a repeat, but my technical narrative is different this time.” He’s approached this year with a different mindset.

Last year, he was working hastily to finish his paintings in one session each. By taking time for his newest paintings, he says his works will look and feel richer. “I got to go back through and add layers of depth, and they look different,” Lester said.

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