My artwork extends itself from an internal investigation of memories, male role models and the location of men in both urban and rural spaces that influenced how I perceived what it means to be a man. Through photographic portraiture I have attempted to catalogue the locations where I witnessed these men (together) in working-class, cultural and queer groups. By merging these sites of contention I am attempting to recreate the ongoing tension between my desires in men as a queer man of color and the vulnerabilities within my identity developed by these early constructions of masculinity.
As a young boy I quickly became aware of gay cruising parks and locations in and around urban centers where family gatherings and picnics were taking place. Through portraits of men in local forest preserves and parks, I am isolating the individual from the group, focusing on each person’s identity within a recreated location and moment in order to reconstruct conflicting relationships and overlapping layers of masculinity and sexuality, class and ethnicity, hidden and visible spaces.
Repeatedly the landscape and surfaces are part of my art-making and thought process. Here I construct land masses; organic forming surfaces and topographical studies of imagined cities through intricate line-work. The collage and assemblage of appropriated pages of magazines are an extension of my interest in the layers of information found within surfaces. Whether photographs, drawings or appropriated images, my work relates to an understanding of what was and what can be in the construction of identity and surfaces.
Born and raised in Kansas City, MO – Anthony Marcos Rea conducted studies at The University of Missouri – Kansas City where he studied under Photographer, Bill Gaskins. In 1999, he transferred to The School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he continued a focus in Photography, Performance, Video & Visual Communication. Upon receipt of his BFA, Anthony Rea began working in community-based arts organizations, institutions, and literacy programs within Chicago. Currently Anthony Marcos Rea works and resides in the near-west suburban (mostly Latino) enclave of Cicero, IL.