I didn’t really know what they represented when I started making them. I was just making them. As I’ve thought more about the process and the works themselves, I’ve come to realize that a number of things manifest themselves through the piles of Polaroids overlapping each other… Stemming from my own struggles with weight and personal presentation (I was 250lbs until I was 22), they address the destruction of beauty and perfection, the fragmentation of facade of the individual (as well as place), the personal identity we put forward as men (even when wearing nothing), intimacy, voyuerism, and also vulnerability. Sometimes even just a sliver of an image peeks through, giving yet another hint at the layered identities that we have as human beings, but also acknowledging that even when we are completely revealed, there are still hidden moments yet to be seen.
Mostly nude, whether exposed or not, these young men are selflessly opening themselves up to me in relative « private performances », captured in these sort of fetish objects that remain the closest I will ever be to « having » that subject (especially given that 95% are straight).
More importantly, and directly relating to the title of this exhibition, the fragmentation of the bodies of these men directly correlate to my process of coming to terms with myself and my own sexual identity. Growing up, I would force myself to only think about individual parts of other men. This gradually gave way to me accepting who I was and embracing the fact that I am a gay man and accepting my desires without remorse.
I strive for these collages to be visually beautiful while maintaining a conceptual layer under the surface, each one helping me come to terms with myself one Polaroid at a time.