Pilar Gallego’s piece “James Franco” from his series of art entitled, “Teen Idol Poster Series” caught my eye more than any other piece of art at the GLAMFA exhibit. This piece is simplistic, yet gives a series of powerful thoughts and ideas to ponder and converse about. My initial reaction to this piece was that Gallego is illustrating that all men are man. Revealing that the inside of us is just raw meat illustrates that we are very feeble creatures and are all one in the same. Humans as a whole believe they are the dominant species on Earth, but I feel like Pilar wants us to realize the truth about us and not think of ourselves too highly compared to the rest of nature.
What Pilar Gallego does more than illustrating man as meat, is humanizing a celebrity. James Franco is a movie star high on the ranks of society’s social scale, yet without a head we can see that he too is just like any other man. This piece of art speaks to me as to say no matter who you are or what you have achieved, at the end of the day our fate is the same and we are all united as humans in this world. Not even James Franco whom girls love to swoon over should be considered a greater person than the rest of us.
As I looked at Pilar’s statement, he talks about how he is inspired by how masculinity is consumed and constructed but also destroyed. After reflecting on how Pilar’s inspiration affects his art, I can look at this particular piece in a different light. Maybe this piece is illustrating that celebrity men who are idolized for their looks by women are the same example being set by women in Hollywood. Young girls look at skinny models with perfect hair, perfect bodies, and perfect complexion which gives a false perception of beauty. Pilar’s point of this piece might be to show that men too are affected by expectations to look a certain way based on girls’ praise of good looking male celebrities. Masculinity is being tarnished by the expectations of a few men.
Overall, this piece of art surely makes any interested person take a moment and ponder about its’ meaning. Pilar Gallego did a great job making me think about his work and now I’m more interested and more eager in finding more art that will open my eyes.