Artlounge Collective and Circus of Books present the post-photography artwork by John Waiblinger, a local gay artist who collages imagery of famous gay actors and re-contextualizes their forms in the lens of romance and enchantment through ambrosial and urban scenery. The exhibit will run from April 22nd until May 29th. There will be an artist reception on this Saturday April 22nd, from 7-9pm at The Gallery at Circus of Books, located at 8230 Santa Monica Blvd.
“In my art I explore the mystery of why I find some men so beautiful and so intriguing,” said Waiblinger via an artist statement, “I use found images from the Internet’s vast store of gay pornography, and combine them with my own photographs to articulate a relationship with those men. I consider the work Post Photography in that I am ‘making’ a new photograph that is specific to my internal point of view.”
He added that the work presents the men he’s appropriated via their pornographic performance and reconstructs them within the realm of his imagination. “I manipulate these images to portray a masculinity that celebrates softness and a different type of edge, creating a tension between the normative and the transgressive,” he said. “Pornography tends to objectify whereas I prefer to romanticize. My intent is to investigate and illustrate how such juxtaposition can broaden perceptions and understandings of masculinity.”
Book Circus opened in 1960 and with the very cruisy Vaseline Alley behind the store quickly became the epicenter of the gay community at that time. In 1980, and through the AIDS crisis, it became the iconic Circus of Books, WeHo’s version of Stonewall. In 2020 it has been reimagined and reopened with the addition of Circus of Books West. Both Stores also feature The Gallery @ Circus, an upscale gallery representing LGBTQ artists.
To connect with artist John Waiblinger, find on via his Instagram account at: @johnwaiblingerart