Bears,
illustrated

Language: English / Castellano

May

by Mark Aguhar

from Chicago, Illinois, USA
website

My work is a continuous exploration of queer expression and what it means to have grown up gay on the internet. I collect visual artifacts from queer online communities and uses them in my work to define and redefine who I am and what my body is. I work primarily in drawing, making bluntly gay works that combine porn, fashion, textile patterns, optical effects, trans identities, and queer jokes. I do not intend to make teaching work, or art to represent the entirety of the LGBTIQA community, I just want to express my own realness.

For the Bears, Illustrated calendar I wanted to make work that addresses my attraction to men who fit the bear type but also my own more fluid feelings about gender expression; I am very interested in subverting dominant paradigms about beauty and sexuality. While I think butch men are sexy, I am especially attracted to people who are willing to play with the way the express their body, so I decided to mix a more butch looking man with feminine patterning.

I also took this project as an interesting exploration and extension of my drawing practice. Most of my work uses bright color relationships and more structured compositions, so this was an interesting challenge in making something that worked in black and white in a format I am not used to working with. I also decided to mix photography and digital collage in the planning-phase of the drawing, which was a new way of working for me, but pretty cool. I had a lot of fun playing with ink and pencil, and also working with a non-realistic more televisual composition.

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Pass over a sketch to see larger.