Juan Boilero’s homoerotic artwork and what it says on homosexuality
Born in Cuba and living in Germany, Juan Boilero’s artwork situates itself within the contemporary discussion on assigned male sexuality. Following a reductionist aesthetic, Boilero’s artworks show honest representations of the body through a homoerotic lens.
Art history places a heavy focus on the representation of assigned female bodies, both in terms of their visual sexualisation and objectification (whether this be in alignment with that or a push against). It is not that bodies representing an assigned male are ignored - far from it. Rather, there needs to be more space within the art sphere for discussion on the erotic nature of such figures and homosexuality.
Throughout history, queer artists have covertly communicated their sexuality through artworks. Edmund Dulac’s Charles Ricketts and Charles Shannon as Medieval Saints (1920) shows two men, one of whom holds a peacock feather. This is a direct reference to how members of the Victorian Aesthetic Movement expressed their sexuality; often secretly, with the peacock feather acting as a symbol of identification for gay men. Boilero’s paper cut outs are part of a growing contemporary art movement that visibly portrays homosexuality, turning previous modes of secrecy on its head.
Boilero’s work Miraflores loosely translated from Spanish to reference “the man who looks at the flowers.” The artist speaks of the phallus in a way that defies typically stereotyped commentary on masculinity. Comparing it to a flower, Bolero writes “The guy here can’t avoid the growth when he sees all the beautiful meadow flowers.” Homoeroticism, within Miraflores, is rightly noted as natural with its citation to blooming flowers.
Artvocate’s entrance into the Freedom of Identity movement allows for sexual identity to be signified as a point of individual expression as opposed to societal enforcement. Contemporary works, such as Boilero’s, aid in this messaging.