Zackary Petot

Printmaker from the Midwest Artist Statement My work focuses on how select individuals in the homosexual community maneuvered through their lives during the 1950’s to the 1980’s. Homosexuals, who hid behind false lives to cover up their secrets from the world, carried tons of emotional baggage along the way. The individuals I chose to depict are not famous in any capacity, allowing for the viewer to see the dual identities of an individual while also seeing a private part of the individuals life. People during this period did not see homosexuality as we do today; rather, it was looked at as a crime. Place would be raided time to time, resulting in brutal beatings, or being thrown in jail. In order to survive, many would masquerade under bearded marriages to cover their secret homosexual relationships. Bearded marriages were used by a gay man and lesbian woman to act as a married couple, but behind closed doors carry on relationships with other lovers. While there might have been speculation on their tendencies, many of the individuals went to the grave without their secrets ever being revealed to the public. Many of the images I am working with are private photos of closeted men during these times while also working with other photographers to use their contemporary images with permission within my work as well. In my prints, the text used is sampled from journals of gay men or love letters that were sent between lovers, which I have rewritten in my own handwriting to date the prints to an era when writing to loved ones was more common. Dating the text allows viewers to guess a time period where handwriting was more prevalent, in the current times we typically look at exquisite cursive writing as a thing of the past. By doing this allows the viewers to relate to the past placing the images within a basic era I'm working with. Some images have faint veils of locations within the compositions to allow the viewer to possibly give a place of where these interactions or experiences happened. These specific locations were significant to the community, whether they were used as hook up sites, or have an emotional pull within the story I'm trying to convey with the image. Zackary Petot joined Society6 on January 5, 2016

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Printmaker from the Midwest

Artist Statement

My work focuses on how select individuals in the homosexual community maneuvered through their lives during the 1950’s to the 1980’s. Homosexuals, who hid behind false lives to cover up their secrets from the world, carried tons of emotional baggage along the way. The individuals I chose to depict are not famous in any capacity, allowing for the viewer to see the dual identities of an individual while also seeing a private part of the individuals life. People during this period did not see homosexuality as we do today; rather, it was looked at as a crime. Place would be raided time to time, resulting in brutal beatings, or being thrown in jail. In order to survive, many would masquerade under bearded marriages to cover their secret homosexual relationships. Bearded marriages were used by a gay man and lesbian woman to act as a married couple, but behind closed doors carry on relationships with other lovers. While there might have been speculation on their tendencies, many of the individuals went to the grave without their secrets ever being revealed to the public. Many of the images I am working with are private photos of closeted men during these times while also working with other photographers to use their contemporary images with permission within my work as well. In my prints, the text used is sampled from journals of gay men or love letters that were sent between lovers, which I have rewritten in my own handwriting to date the prints to an era when writing to loved ones was more common. Dating the text allows viewers to guess a time period where handwriting was more prevalent, in the current times we typically look at exquisite cursive writing as a thing of the past. By doing this allows the viewers to relate to the past placing the images within a basic era I'm working with. Some images have faint veils of locations within the compositions to allow the viewer to possibly give a place of where these interactions or experiences happened. These specific locations were significant to the community, whether they were used as hook up sites, or have an emotional pull within the story I'm trying to convey with the image.

Zackary Petot joined Society6 on January 5, 2016.

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