Canon is a call to action against the relentless violence the LGBTQ population faces throughout Peruvian culture. Peru native Juan Jose Barboza-Gubo and American-born Andrew Mroczek began working together in 2013 to illuminate these social atrocities, while simultaneously commending their subjects’ strength and beauty.
The collaboration began with Virgenes de la Puerta (Virgins of the Door), a photography series inspired by Spanish colonial painting and 19th-century vernacular photography that reimagines transgender women as historical and religious icons. The project references the religious “canon” law that often targets and excludes LGBTQ voices, as well as the often genuine spiritual beliefs of LGBTQ Peruvians who identify with their country’s rich religious heritage.
Barboza-Gubo and Mroczek’s subjects are often adorned with coronets and textiles of fine Peruvian craftsmanship. The silver and gold bejeweled crowns worn in the photographs will be on display, along with a 25-foot hand-crocheted veil, comprised of hundreds of embroidered flowers.
Los Chicos (The Boys), documents an emerging community of openly gay men in Peru and the role they play in the country’s cultural fabric. The setting for Los Chicos takes place within one of Peru’s hidden manses: a home once lavish and regal, now left nearly neglected, it stands within one of Lima’s most revered communities surrounded by pockets of new construction, high-rises, and tourist destinations.
Conversely, Padre Patria (Fatherland), was born from a desire to document the erasure of LGBTQ lives. This series explores the scars of a violence inherent to patriarchal methodology and an intolerance that permeates rural neighborhoods, farmlands, public parks, and urban districts through a series of harrowing streetscapes where hate crimes have occurred.