'Richard Bruce Nugent was a phenomenon that was not supposed to exist, according to the stansards of his time. An African-American artist influenced by Michelangelo, Beardsley, and Erte. Throughout his working life, Nugent has been legendary for his erotic, art-deco drawings. These show the strong influence of Beardsley and Erte, but the style is distinctly Nugent's. Eroticism is an element in nearly all of Nugent's work, but "erotic" must be sharply distinguished from "pornographic." With their elegant style and exquisite colors, even the most explicit of Nugent's drawings are simply too beautiful to arouse the viewer sexually.'