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Rory Patrick Mulligan
Hastings on Hudson NY US
Updated: 2021-05-29 07:44:42


These photographs are part of a larger ongoing project commenced in the summer of 2008. The tragic death of a childhood friend drew me back to the neighborhoods of my youth in the suburbs of New York City. Freddie and I had mostly lost touch by the time he died, but his role in my early life cemented his importance in my real and imagined relationships with other men.


In this project, I combine three styles of photography—portraiture, self-portraiture, and documentary—to create a highly subjective vision of analog black-and-white photography existing in the contemporary world. My work gleans from the disparate histories of queer portraiture and 1960s and 70s street photography, moving between worlds in order to create a new one of my own making.


The aesthetic of the suburbs takes on a dreamlike quality in my work. A Halloween ghost tethered to a tree, a young man with a blank stare holding a knife, a television broadcasting slasher films: there is a play between fantasy and reality that feels true to the world Freddie and I lived in and the one we created in our boyish, horror film-obsessed minds.


The men in my photographs reflect my desire to move representations of masculinity beyond the one-dimensional. They are not all surrogates for Freddie, but his absence necessitates a longing and prods me to move forward in my search for what it means to be alive, to be a man, and to love other men.