The Beauty of Men: Celebrating Tenderness (Opening Reception)
Los Angeles-based queer artist John Waibliner’s solo show opening at Hellada Gallery on Saturday March 2nd, breathes romance and intimacy into hardened images of pornography. “The Beauty of Men: Celebrating Tenderness” features images gathered from the artist’s personal collection and online gay porn sites and re-purposes them into softer, floral images that show men in an entirely different light.
Waiblinger reconstructs found images and combines them with his own photography to transfigure the carnal into his own embodiments of adoration and celebration. The images portray a masculinity that celebrates intimacy and creates tension between the normative and the transgressive, investigating and broadening our perceptions of masculinity.
“It’s not often that men are seen in this kind of soft and tender manner,” says Waiblinger. “I think it’s important to express that each and every one of these men is a sex worker. This is my way of honoring them and the joy they have given to me as an individual, and to say that they are something more than an object. That beauty is something that I want to share with the world.”
“The Beauty of Men” will run from March 2-16 at Hellada Gallery. The opening reception is Saturday, March 2, 6-9 PM with a closing reception and art talk on the topic of “Masculinity in Art” on Sunday, March 16, 1:30-4:00 pm.