I am a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I paint and exhibit full-time and work out of a studio in Pilsen on Chicago's West Side.
All images copyright Brad Leslie. All rights reserved.
For my current work, I’ve created a framework allowing me to unite a variety of subjects and objects with which I am both intimately familiar and fascinated. I started with a desire to represent the sexually charged and fetishized imagery of male “beefcake” magazines, dating as far back as the 1930s, which circumvented the conservative and homophobic laws at the time prohibiting male pornography, by featuring photographs of attractive, muscular young men in athletic poses.
My objective was to recontextualize these images with other iconic objects and graphic elements symbolizing war, destruction, and domesticity, in order to question a cliched and outdated notion of masculinity, the paradox of desire and puritanical repression, and the history of the dominance of an American, white patriarchal society, and its varied consequences.