Still Lights Gallery proudly presents "m4m"
A Juried Solo Exhibition of Aaron Wilder's Artwork
May 1-5, 2017
Still Lights Gallery
800 Chestnut Street
San Francisco, CA 94133
“The meanings we attribute to images are not a ‘natural’ result of what we see; that is, images are not self-evident and universal in how we understand what we see.”
- Walter Benjamin
“Structuralism is a method of analysis that seeks to study and reveal the deep structure behind the appearance of phenomena; that is, the hidden rules which organize anything from how people interact in particular social contexts to how stories are written or told.”
- Brian Curtin
“m4m” is a project manipulating found images and text from Craigslist m4m personal ads in the US urban centers with the largest estimated populations of gay men. In these disoriented cities, interpersonal interactions are supplemented (if not replaced) by digital interactions. The resulting aesthetics show a web of ephemeral, over-saturated sales pitches where gay men can be free to present themselves in any way they choose. One can cling to the tropes of masculinity still celebrated in American society or take on an alternate ego they feel unable to personify in their public life.
Through the narcissism of the selfie, the intimacy fabricated through Craigslist, and the language used to define our sense of reality, this project seeks to explore both the beauty and the isolation of a small segment of gay culture in America. Seeking to neither reinforce hypersexualized stereotypes of gay culture nor glorify anonymous sexual activity, “m4m” is an exploration of merely one example of the broader trends of insatiable consumption, marketing-centric representation, and fragmented interaction within the contemporary digital moment.