Blake Jacobsen Brings Blue-Collar Roots to Queer Photography


The pictures and the persona at massive have been predicated on imagining a world the place Jacobsen may reconcile the disparate elements of his id. Deeriere offered a world during which homosexual males from rural communities may see themselves — not solely throughout the landscapes from which they emerged — but additionally inside a lineage of queer visible illustration that stepped outdoors of the hackneyed tropes. For a few of the work, Deeriere introduced the countryside into the studio, creating extremely stylized imagery amongst bales of hay. Within the captions of his posts, he wrestled with points round group, work, the politics of desirability, and extra. 

“The eroticization of my body is working-class labor,” Jacobsen wrote in a single. The venture itself was the embodiment of that concept.

Whereas Jacobsen by no means totally grew to become Deeriere, his newest physique of labor, titled “taking care of roots,” narrows the ravine between the 2. Created as his thesis for the MFA pictures program on the College of California, Los Angeles, the venture depicts the shards of his id: the stark, unforgiving rural panorama that he calls house, the fraught technique of negotiating his gender presentation via getting his hair achieved by his mom, and glimpses of the long run as depictions of poisonous masculinity are replicated, even in probably the most innocuous of moments, throughout the youngest technology of his household. The work nonetheless wrestles with most of the similar concepts — rural id, queerness, and sophistication politics. Now the prism observes them via a special perspective.

“In the ‘taking care of roots’ project, in some of the self-portraits, there’s elements of John Deeriere,” Jacobsen says. “There’s elements of sexuality in the landscape portraits, but it’s a little more muted. Maybe I’m OK with that because maybe sexuality doesn’t always have to slap you in the face. With John Deeriere photos, I was really mobilized by a desire to showcase my body, to present my body, to garner attention with my body, to confront the viewer with my body. With these photos, I don’t return the gaze.”

(left: picture of Blake Jacobsen as John Deeriere)

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