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The Village People  

By Aroh Arzate 

Be yourself is a phrase we are always told growing up and it initiates a lot of self-reflection as an adult. Despite homophobia being very present still, I have reached a place of self-acceptance. As a Mexican gay man, my own internal conflict about sexuality and culture are continuously evolving and I’ve found that living life with honesty towards myself and others makes me content. Accepting this creates the need to further explore my identity.

In my collection of paintings, I observe the relationship between my markers of identity; confronting issues like machismo, gender expectations, and hypersexuality. I combine tropes of camp and flamboyance that are associated with homosexuality and infuse them with scenes from my childhood that embody my connection to being Mexican.  I skew them to fuel introspection for the viewer and myself.

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