It is not unusual to see relationships where one of the partners is significantly older than the other. In heterosexual couplings it is fairly common to see an older man dating a much younger woman. This is also true within the gay men’s community, and there are dating apps such as SilverDaddies and DaddyHunt to assist with making a connection.
Here we see a 24 year old “Daddy’s Boy,” with the metal numbers atop suggesting that his partner is 56 years old. The use of a mantle clock gong is a reference to time. The phallic shaped coil suggests that the ‘boy’ is uncircumcised. As the backdrop we see an old hand-made foundry mold that had been previously discarded.
Assemblage (18.5” x 18” x 2.75”)
remnant of an old foundry mold
metal numbers strip, 2456
vintage physique photography
gold antique mantle clock decorations
antique mantle clock gong
copper wire spring
This artwork was designed to suggest a Greek temple. The artwork is composed of remnants from an antique foundry mold and the shaft pieces from an antique floor lamp. Atop is affixed a machinist’s bullet lamp that is used for illumination.
In the photograph we see presented idealized masculine beauty in the ancient Greek tradition. The photograph has been wrapped in copper wire to suggest that the men depicted are imprisoned and/or otherwise removed from mainstream society.
Greece was the birth place of the Olympic games, so it is no surprise that in ancient Greece cultural capital was placed on athleticism. The beauty of a fit, muscular masculine body occupied a central role in Greek culture and aesthetics.
The athletes of ancient Greece typically exercised in the nude in gymnasiums, where they would also socialize and practice sports in the nude. Men were encouraged to maintain their manly bodies. Indeed, any sign of flabbiness was seen as undesirable. The later remains true today in our culture, leading to problems with body dysmorphia and body shaming. A physically fit male is desired in both heterosexual and homosexual relationships.
The two men depicted here are flexing their muscles and showing their bodies to their sexiest effect. The question arises: Are they posing for an observer or are they posing for each other? The title of this artwork is a pun on the title’s command, and it is left to the viewer to decide which one is Olympus.
Assemblage (34” x 10” x 10”)
wood foundry mold
wood shaft parts of floor lamp
vintage male nude physique photograph
machinist’s bullet lamp (functioning)
This piece comments on the struggles of African-Americans and the prejudice and pressure they constantly have to deal with as the result of racism in our culture.
Here we see a vintage early 1960’s photograph of an African-American teenager on a football field. A light leak that occurred in the camera resulted in his lower body being whited out. He has been assigned team shirt number 13. The number ‘13’ has historically been associated with ‘bad luck.’ This young man has been negatively labeled from the very start of his joining the game.
The photograph is mounted to an antique photo contact printer. A photo contact printer exposes a black and white camera negative to light which then becomes a positive image on the gelatin silver photo paper that is within the contact printing frame. In other words, the negative becomes a positive. However, in this instance, because of racism, there is nothing positive here because this young man is viewed negatively simply because of his skin color.
We see the artist’s use of a pressed tin photograph frame, a metaphor of ‘applied pressure.’ The use of copper wire suggests removal from society that he experiences as a result of racism.
In the United States, African-Americans are often victims of violent crime. African-Americans account for only 13% of the US population, yet they are victims of 15% of all nonfatal violent crimes and nearly half of all homicides. Homicide is the leading cause of death for young African-American males aged 10 – 24. Such numbers are shameful American statistics. Given the fact that this photograph is now over 60 years old, one wonders if this young man became another American statistic.
Assemblage (10.75” x 8.75” x 1.5”)
antique photography contact printing frame
antique pressed tin and glass frame
Here we see two older men, a gay couple, presumably together for many years. Their relationship is remembered now only as traces of light on gelatin silver photographic paper. The double exposure appears to document a happy home life and also suggests that they remained together even after their lifetime ended.
This photo was removed from an unknown ‘photo album’ and put up for sale on eBay. Perhaps the album was initially purchased at a yard sale because there were no living heirs to inherit the ‘family photo album’ and was later disassembled for sale by an enterprising eBay seller. The more likely scenario was that a surviving heir was so removed in time from their ancestors shown here that the photo album lacked personal meaning for them, and/or they decided to remove from the family album any documentation of a same-gender relationship that had existed in their family. In any event, the monetary value of the photo became more important than any sentimental value that may have existed.
The artwork is framed using a men’s leather belt. The photograph is affixed to a remnant of an industrial foundry mold. D’Elia uses old foundry molds in his art because his father was a pattern-maker and made similar things out of wood for a living and so D’Elia grew up with them in his life. These handmade foundry molds are discarded objects, sadly much like the photograph seen here. We also see the use of remnants from an antique weight scale, suggesting the difficult balance that gay men often face in deciding when and how to reveal to family and friends their true self and love relationships.
This artwork is from an ongoing series by the artist featuring vintage double exposure photography as a commentary on the quick passage of time and the importance of celebrating and embracing relationships during one’s life.
Assemblage (14.5” x 8” x 4”)
antique decorative copper design elements
remnant of sliding closet door part
remnant of scale balance
leather belt remnant
vintage double exposure photograph