Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Re-Framed by ArtGraeco.
- the dumb, gold digger blonde stereotype…
Re-Framed is a series of photomontages, collages and digital art by ArtGraeco that recast characters of mainstream movies, change scenarios and subvert plots. These up-stagings add new dimensions – some solemn, others playful – to the artificiality of life, the stereotypes, the intolerance and homophobia cinema portrayed for over 100 years of filmmaking.
Throughout the twentieth century and beyond, cinema has always assumed a significant role in gay cultural history even though the industry had little interest in dramatizing homosexual lives or homosexual topics. The few times homosexuality was depicted on screen in classic movies and Hollywood productions it was only an opportunity for some filmmakers to ridicule gays and lesbians as something to fear, laugh at or something to pity. Effeminate men or masculine women quickly became the stereotypical clichés of queer representations.
Stars on the screen could only express themselves indirectly, Hollywood filmmakers were struggling to make homosexual material acceptable to the Hays Office and the Legion of Decency and gay viewers were analyzing images and decoding homoerotic subtexts and queer expressions in the behavior and speech of “straight” characters.
Homosexuality as a subject began to appear in mainstream fictional films during the sexual liberation of the 1960s and 1970s and the gay and lesbian civil rights movement but queer representation in films was becoming even more homophobic and gay characters were often depicted as dangerous or violent sociopaths. These images of unhappy and suicidal gay people often had a devastating affect on young gay viewers and influenced both public perception and public policy.
Since the 1990s, Hollywood has increased its portrayal of gay and lesbian characters but the industry remains cautious in its portrayals of gay themes, characters, and experiences as simultaneously marginalizes and fosters homosexual desire.
The Re-Framed series by Artgraeco provides a journey and exploration of what cinema could be and could have been more of: open, daring, defiant, fair, inclusive. The homoeroticism here speaks to the tensions and desires that flow between those of the same gender.