Andrew Kuebeck
Metalsmith & Studio Photographer

Identities

Attending Indiana University, the home of the Kinsey Institute, I took it as a personal goal to correct what I perceived as a dearth of nude male representations in contemporary art jewelry.  As an undergrad I became aware of photographers like Arthur Tress, Bob Mizer, Duane Michaels, the duo Pierre et Giles and others who I saw liberate the male nude in contemporary photography.  In their images I saw power, sensuality, notions of dominance and passivity, and countless narratives each seamlessly employing the male nude. As a metalsmith, I was hoping to add this same variety to the jewelry field, both visually and conceptually. 

The use of attributes as a means of conveying a story, and demonstrating their importance to an identity was the crux of this extended series.  Each enamel brooch in this series looked at literary, mythological, or pop culture characters and their association with attributes.  In this work I strip the characters of all, except these attributes, and ask the viewer how they witness the narratives differently.  This work dealt not only with the sometimes humorous juxtaposition of characters and objects but also looks at how attribute identification effects one's understanding of individuals, situations, and identities.  This series allowed me to continue to explore decal imagery on enamel while also allowing me to combine my interest in attribute identification with the use of male figure models in my photographic work.  

Beefcake photography and the work of Bruce of Los Angeles in particular were influential in the photography of these pieces.  Strong, muscular, masculine male models held tools and other objects relevant to specific narratives I had heard growing up.  I hoped that with these pieces I could reference a range of specific stories dealing with masculinity where in traditional beefcake images the props used did not.  

All Models Were 18 Years of Age or Older at Time of Photography


"Sailor" from Identity Series was included in "Animal Instincts:  2014 Metalsmith Exhibition in Print" published by the
Society of North American Goldsmith


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