DARRIN - JAMIL HELLU

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EXHIBIT DATES:  JUNE 25 - JULY 31, 2015
OPENING RECEPTION:  THURSDAY, JUNE 25, 6-8PM

In 2005, I heard the news of two teenage boys who were publicly hung in Iran on charges involving homosexual behavior. Of the few published photographs of the episode, the most shocking to me was an image of the boys, blindfolded, just moments before their death on the scaffold. Thinking about ways to counter homophobia, I began to depict my own life in my photography with the aim to challenge stereotypes usually represented in mainstream media.

I started to photograph my partner Darrin as an expression of love, aware that relationships such as mine continue to struggle for acceptance and social justice in many parts of the world. This ongoing series relates to a personal journey of discovery, self-reliance, and affirmation, especially for those of us who venture to establish a sense of encouragement and historical inclusion.

My intention is to shift away from the stereotypical sexual predictability usually permeating representations of gay men, focusing on ordinary moments and personal experiences, as Darrin and I share our lives together.

Originally from Brazil, Jamil Hellu earned his MFA in art practice from Stanford University in 2010 and was granted a BFA degree in photography from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2003. He was selected for the Artist-in-Residence Program at Recology San Francisco in 2014. Hellu received the MFA Graduate  Fellowship Award at Headlands Center for the Arts for 2010–2011. He was also granted a six-month residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris in 2008. He lives in San Francisco. www.jamilhellu.net