De Los Reyes,  2018

De Los Reyes, 2018



Using comic books and magazines I have collected since childhood, I take the very media that excluded me to create my own representation. My signature is 100% hand-cut collage with no painted effects. The resulting work is a mashup of my pop cultural influences from entertainment, comics, fashion, art and celebrity culture. It is pop art seen through the eyes of a queer Filipino-Canadian immigrant. Playfully collaging narratives, I assume the role of the creator of a fantasy universe, in which I am the star. It is a place where beautiful things are everywhere, but something still isn’t quite right. 

What started as therapy for traumas experienced as a marginalized person, the work has also become insight into the power of self-representation. For better or worse, social media requires that we engage in a conversation with ourselves. Similarly, the process of making these self-portraits forced me to look inward to find the source of my hardships, but also outward towards an external depiction of who I could be. Soon, the projection of my image opened up possibilities for identity that once seemed out of reach. Fantasy and reality started to blur.