From nude to naked

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Obviously, Doran isn't too concerned about traditional ideas of artistic credibility. He's been represented by galleries in the past, but admits that he likes being able to set his own price for his works. "In order for a gallery to make money on my art, they're going to take my price and bump that up as much as a hundred percent. That makes it tough on art lovers who aren't affluent."

Still, he's committed to earning a living from his art. "The mortgage on the studio is very affordable," he says. "And although we don't want casual interruptions while we're working, we're always willing to make an appointment with a serious buyer."

Doran recently branched out into photography, as well as more sculptural work. He has successfully embedded Belgian lace into plaster casts of classically shaped female torsos, creating an intricate tattooed effect. The mix of media here, and in much of Doran's work, broadens the framework for erogenous forms and adds layers of subtext. While lace has adorned the feminine form for centuries, obviously, the final effect confronts the viewer with the rising popularity--and controversy--engendered by women adorning their bodies with tattoos, actually a much older form of decoration.

Dallas is not an obvious market for two painters whose work celebrates the sensual female nude. But Gleckler and Doran have shown an ability to fill a niche here--artistically and commercially.

A graphic nude in New York, no matter how well conceived and executed, is easily lost amid the crush of artists and art. But in Dallas, well-done erotic art shakes things up--and gets at least word-of-mouth attention.

Doran and Gleckler are clearly boosters of the local art community. "Some people believe that if they buy a painting from a gallery in New York City, then it means more than if it was purchased here in Dallas," Gleckler observes. "I'd like to see more people giving credit to the talent that's right here."

As I sit before a painting in their studio, enjoying the smell of burning incense and scribbling my impressions, Doran unexpectedly takes my picture.

I nearly snap my pencil wondering what he's going to do with the photo. Maybe I can convince him to paint a series: from "Deep Ellum Chick" to "Suburban Mom Chick."

The Doran Studio is located at 110 Cole Street, Dallas, Texas 75207, 748-4544.

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Denise Spellman Getson