I create photo based collages that appropriate gay iconography from 1970s and 80s porn magazines such as Blueboy, Torso and Honcho in order to negotiate my own identity and formative experiences as impacted by the AIDS crisis. The images that filled the glossy pages of these magazines once accompanied articles on blithe topics – fashion, popular culture, sex and cruising – intertwined with heavier issues such as gay rights, political activism and HIV/AIDS. The pages of these magazines represent specific cultural moments that are often obliterated and forgotten. Although porn has largely been discarded and devalued as “ephemera,” the content of these magazines is evident of a gay socialization and identity formation that has had global consequence and influence, fragmented and transformed but still alive today. As an abyss of pornography has moved from under the mattress to the mobile phone screen, gay identity and its relationship to the circulation of images is often left unexamined. My work explores the visual culture and iconography of my queer predecessors to reconcile the loss and longing that permeates those affected by the AIDS crisis.
Image rights: Rubber Factory, courtesy of Pacifico Silano
About Pacifico Silano
American, b. 1986, Brooklyn, NY, United States, based in Brooklyn, New York