The painting references the ancient Greek kouros. It addresses the ambivalent identity of male youths caught between their most elemental needs for security, love and tenderness, and their fear of being labeled effeminate. American youths are not encouraged to live with balance and beauty and therefore my kouros are clothed. Their sexual nature is conflicted. I represented the conflict with two figures, one with his pectoral muscles strong and sure, the palette knife sweeping across his chest. The other molded with a more tentative blade, his glance reticent and his colors softer and more muted.