“Fragments of the Masculine” utilizes photography and photographic collage to create conceptually focused works that tackle themes of cultural and sexual identity, memory, and displacement. The series is deeply informed by my connections to both my Colombian heritage and the Latino narrative in America. This current work uses an archive of found images of my uncle and biological father in order to explore this issue.

These archival images represent specific times in the lives of these two men—including photographs from the time my uncle spent in the Colombian military in his youth, or polaroids of my father from his time in prison. As an adolescent, it was only through these photographs that I was able to connect with these men, which inherently linked the depiction of the military and the prison system to my ideas of masculinity.

Through this project, I seek to challenge the construct of Latino masculinity (known as Machismo), while re-contextualizing the fabric of my own identity.

Each image in this series presents a deconstructed version of the original archival images as I have interpreted them, incorporating culturally specific materials as well as the colors of the Colombian flag. These images place an emphasis on the fragmented relationship I share with both my culture and these central figures in my life.

—Antonio Pulgarin