Dureau's paintings are full of naked dwarfs, African Americans, cherubs, amputees, satyrs, centaurs and self-portraits. Dureau alludes to classical motifs that create and underscore an alternate meaning of the male nude body. His approach to the male physique taps into the contested legacies and genealogy of Hellenic classicism as these are associated with overt and covert strategies of producing difference. Specific individuals from this motley cast of characters are featured in many of his large theatrical paintings, which have been characterized as carnivalesque and a bit quirky. Dureau was a proud and self-proclaimed hedonist who led a bohemian existence to the point where he was described by many who knew him as representative of ‘the last frontier of bohemia in New Orleans’. The English art critic Edward Lucie-Smith has rightly observed that Dureau is ‘always classical’, but plays ‘variations on classical themes as bizarre and unexpected as they are historically justified’.