05 September 2008

Prototypes: Deconstructing Media Representations of Manhood

Swaggerzine, Young Chicago Authors (08)

Caged Bird Canto

Pedro Santana (Inspired by My Bloody Life)

With the specific mission to deconstruct and reconstruct prototype images of men in the media, I was able to focus my energies less on inspiration and more on motif, creating environments and portraits of these characters. Each portrait serves as a platform for these scripted characters to speak freely, highlighting their personal tastes and places of pride. Each character and each piece stands on its own, but through the direction of Swaggerzine’s mission, the larger body of work holds a unique conversation.

Then each character/prototype of a man, as represented through the media, holds a dialogue with the viewer through the straight on gaze of each portrait vs. the fabricated tension television generates between its productions and the invisible audience. These men never see the audience that gazes at them, and these characters never see the social norms pulling around them. As constant subjects of an audiences’ gaze each man becomes agent in his respective environment, the consumer-based media that produces him. Each collage and person plays with the commercial ads that encase and engender them into static and iconographic ideals of manhood.

Lastly, these men and their encased images speak to me. These men tell me, subtly and no so subtly, they know I am watching. It cannot suffice to say that TV and Hollywood raised me. I had no father growing up, save one quiet, hard working tío in the states and an abuelo removed to México, I was captivatedly raised by these men.

I believe collage art allows for the mundane and unnoticed to talk and move. Nothing, then, can be taken for granted.

Pajarito, Peel Me Suave

Latin Lover (Inspired by Rico Suave)

Black Arts Starve

J.J. Evans

Bring Home the

James Evans, Sr.

Affluential Influence

Heathcliff Huxtable


Archie Bunker

(c) Jose Luis Benavides, all collages and artist statement

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