Antonio Pulgarin

Lost Throughout The Pages (Whispers of The Caballeros)

Location:
126 Baxter Street, NYC

Exhibition Dates:
September 8, 2021 - October 6, 2021

Opening Reception:
Wednesday, September 8th | 5pm - 8pm

Artist:
Antonio Pulgarin

Lost Throughout The Pages (Whispers of The Caballeros)

Lost Throughout the Pages (Whispers of The Caballeros), the debut exhibition of Baxter St’s 2020 artist in residence Antonio Pulgarín aims to democratize the history of beefcake imagery by including the lens and experience of the artist’s queer Latinx identity. Featuring new images and collages drawn from two decades of queer archival imagery, each work incorporates textile patterns, colors, and printed source materials representative of Pulgarín’s Colombian culture and heritage to expand upon the historically white queer canon.

For Lost Throughout the Pages (Whispers of The Caballeros), the artist has created a new, inclusive archive of queer imagery, endeavoring to create an opportunity for others like himself to feel seen. The fifteen new works on view include and honor the queer BIPOC community, which has not been historically visible or represented. Pulgarín merges deconstructed queer archival images from the 1980s through the present day with aspects of his Colombian cultural identity, celebrating the two communities he proudly represents. Pulgarín uses the red, blue and yellow primary colors of the Colombian flag and patterns of textiles and weavings that reflect the ponchos and sombrero vueltiaos typically worn in Colombia and throughout Latinx communities. The collaged works are adhered to surfaces such as bamboo, acrylic glass, adhesive vinyl, and printed cyanotypes on fabric, paying homage to the way photography was presented in his childhood home—taped or pinned to a refrigerator, mirror, or religious statue. Pulgarín continues this tradition by veering away from the formal framed image to present his work in new ways.

As a teen, Pulgarín turned to queer photography as a way to make sense of and come to terms with his identity. He immediately became fascinated by the only queer images available to him at the time—beefcake images that represented liberation, yet were hypermasculine and centered and idealized white, athletic bodies. The artist became painfully aware that his larger body type and cultural identity were not represented. Examining the history of beefcake photography more closely, he felt emboldened to challenge its exclusive nature and homogeneous standard of beauty—standards the  queer community is still trying to unpack today.

“I was honored that Baxter St gave me this opportunity to further develop my practice and to work with a diverse and talented cohort of artists,” says Pulgarín. “I hope to inspire the next generation to add to the queer archive by representing their full selves so that we can constantly build on what it means to be queer in America. I want the viewer to walk away from this exhibition feeling comfortable with the ideas of reflecting, unpacking and challenging our histories in order to move forward as a community.”

About the Artist

Antonio Pulgarín (b. 1989) is a Colombian-American lens-based artist who utilizes photography, photographic collage, and mixed media in his practice. Pulgarín mounted his first solo exhibition at Kingsborough Art Museum in the fall of 2019. Pulgarín’s work has been featured in exhibitions at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, Aperture Foundation, Longwood Art Gallery, the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz, BRIC, and Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne, Switzerland. His work has received honors from YoungArts, The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, EnFoco, The Magenta Foundation, Latin American Fotografia, American Photography, and PDN Photo Annual. 

Pulgarín’s work has been featured in publications such as Vice, UnSeen Magazine, Visual Arts Journal, BESE, Slate, LensCulture and The Huffington Post. He received his BFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts and is currently based in Seattle, Washington. Pulgarín was named a 2019 Fellow of the AIM Fellowship program at the Bronx Museum of the Arts. Pulgarín will also be showcasing this work at the Bronx Calling: The Fifth AIM Biennial from October 20, 2021 – January 16, 2022.


Baxter St at the Camera Club of New York operates as a 501(c)3 arts organization and is located at 126 Baxter St, and 128 Baxter St. Its programming and exhibitions are supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, The Jerome Foundation, The Tierney Family Foundation, Steven Amedee Fine Custom Framing, Fujifilm of North America, The Puffin Foundation Ltd., Yarden Winery, and Awagami Factory. Baxter St at the Camera Club of New York is W.A.G.E. certified.

Location:
126 Baxter Street, NYC

Exhibition Dates:
September 8, 2021 - October 6, 2021

Opening Reception:
Wednesday, September 8th | 5pm - 8pm

Artist:
Antonio Pulgarin