Hero Blueprint (Perception) - Constructed Heroic
The image of the fictional male hero and its archetypal values have become a prevalent motif in contemporary culture. these fictional heroes, often in a reductive way, come to represent shells or manicured fronts of their former selves. detached from reality, they become symbols or tokens we aspire to imitate. in a consumerist culture, we are sold the lie that to be our best we need to imitate these fictional heroes. to do this we must successfully look and act the part so that we might be perceived as truly being the part. the process of the self-attainment or the becoming of a fictional hero is in itself fictitious and impossible to attain, leaving one deeply unsatisfied, hollow.
Through pictorial montage, roman longginou’s recent body of work for the constructed heroic references this historic yet hollowed representation of archetypal and heroic male figures. sourced from films, social media and advertising, the content of these works re-contextualise the immediately recognisable images of the cowboy, boxer, outdoors-man, driver and suited figures. when stitched together, these tropes of masculinity and heroism, their associated objects and what they represent, become reflective of a surface one desires to embody.
From our own yearnings for recognition, hand in hand with the guiding force of our current societal constructs, we desire the image as to embody the archetype. meanwhile, these pictorial constructs hold metaphors of memento mori, reminders of mortality, from smashed cars to pierced armour, broken bones and crumbling sculptures. the transparent blueprints which cover the drawings depict both the image of the romanticised commercial heroes and the underlying fragility, lack of security and hollowness found in the pursuit of these masculine facades. arranged as montage or collage on the surface, the composition and form of the works speak to the constructed nature of images and archetypes.
Representing a subjective exploration of the artist’s own materialist desires, juxtaposed to the spiritual bankruptcy that follows from devotion to these pursuits, the constructed heroic questions the commercialisation of self and its overwhelming prevalence. overall this body of work responds to currents in contemporary culture which perceive a shallow imitation and material acquisition as a means of forming identity.