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Introspective art

Monday, 3rd September, 2018

Jaddan Bruhn with his Apollo piece from the ‘Army of Me’ exhibition. PICTURE: Callum Marshall Jaddan Bruhn with his Apollo piece from the ‘Army of Me’ exhibition. PICTURE: Callum Marshall

By Callum Marshall

A 3D art exhibition on the topic of masculinity, identity and the perception of beauty opens tonight at the Broken Hill Art Exchange.

The ‘Army of Me’ exhibition is comprised of a collection of photographic anaglyphs of nude males inspired by the Greek Gods. An anaglyph photo is when two images are superimposed, with each printed in a different colour. When viewed with the right material it produces a 3D effect to the eye.

The pieces are the work of Broken Hill-born artist Jaddan Bruhn, who installed light boxes under each picture so that when added to the 3D effect, they help make the figures in each image pop out.

“I exhibited this previously at Sexpo in Melbourne,” said Mr Bruhn. “I just had them printed on photo paper. But exhibiting here, I decided to try something different and I’ve got them on light boxes, so when I’ve got them all up and running, they’ll all be backlit.”

Mr Bruhn said that individualism and identity were important aspects to the work, and that each person can interpret the images however they want. 

“When I was thinking of how I was going to put the images together I was thinking that when we look at portraits, especially now, what you immediately do is look at the face” he said. 

“So I got everyone to wear the same gold mask because I thought if everyone’s face is essentially the same then it’s up to the viewer to decide what it is they want to look at next, and make the decision about whether that’s something they identify with. 

“It’s an ‘Army of Me’ in that no one has to be one thing, everyone’s many things. There’s no one way of seeing masculinity, or one way of seeing anything. You can be many things at the same time.”

Each figure is represented by a different Greek God, such as Ares, Adonis, Apollo, Eros, Hades, Hermes, Heracles, Poseidon and Zeus.

“In Greek mythology, even though you had the different gods with their different names and attributes, really what they were just doing was identifying different potentials within ourselves.

“It’s not necessarily about perfection but accepting who you are, and the different potential that you have. Even though you may have an ideal, the reality is what it is.”

The Gods are also connected to another underlying theme behind the works: masculinity.

“It’s something that is so often covered in the media at the moment. It’s always under scrutiny and, as individuals, it’s always on your mind about how you’re being perceived. 

“What I wanted to do with this series is I didn’t use people who see themselves as models, they’re everyday people. Those who participated in this were people that wanted to. It wasn’t necessarily about how they looked but how they felt in their own skin.

“With photography, people make a split-second decision to look at one particular aspect before they’ve even consciously realised why. I thought by making the images 3D, it kind of slows down that process.”

“You actually have to focus, you actually have to take a moment to be drawn in and to appreciate the entire image that you’re looking at.”  

The ‘Army of Me’ opens at 7pm and runs for a week in the Kitchen Gallery at the Broken Hill Art Exchange at The Grand.

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