Jose Villalobos

Born and raised in the border town of El Paso Texas, growing up, there was a constant challenge between the expectations of traditional Mexican customs and the "American" way of living. Coming from a strong religious background feeling unwanted came with the realization of being gay. Remarks of machismo ways were always present and made my true self dwindle. Coming out in my early 20's I began to feel marginalized because it was difficult to associate myself as being gay and did not know how to process the lifestyle. While holding on to personal and traditional values, my current work demonstrates that through constant manipulation we obsess over self image and self identity. My most recent work explores traditional "masculine" objects and idols that are glorified by most Mexican and Hispanic men. By softening the virility of these objects with subtle ambiguities their MACHO-ness becomes delicate. As a result the intent of my work is to create a sense of security and comfort while creating a feeling of distress which establishes a duality.