The faces of Che Guevara and Abe Lincoln are among the most culturally ubiquitous. We’ve seen them in every possible context and in every media, from currency to film to T-shirt. So it’s unusual to see these icons presented in a surprising way. Artist Scott Scheidly has done just that, literally painting them and other masculine icons pink (and lavender and rose).
It’s part of his exhibit “The Pinks,” which runs through August 24 at the Spoke Art gallery in San Francisco. Scheidly’s portraits explore the cultural and social associations that we have with color and how these affect our notions of stateliness, manliness, and machismo. As Scheidly told Spoke Art: “Pretty much every time I see a write-up on the series it refers to it as “gay.” However, in a nutshell, it’s how color and symbology can change perception. With that being said, I guess it’s working since the series is always equated as “gay.”
Aside from the cultural critique, the portraits are simply fun to examine. Now Guevara wears a Gorillaz pin (get the joke?) and Spock has some pretty gnarly chest tattoos.