This body of work explores the concept of constructing comparative identity using given metrics from the world. The documentation of this exercise, in the form of paintings, prints, installation, and video, is intended to complicate internal and external notions of my identity through comparative and performative analysis while creating a space where difference is articulated. Much of this work is motivated by periods of flux and feelings of loss in my life, and an attempt to claim ownership over my own fluid sense of identity.
This project began when I “friended” 76 other Gabriel Mejias on Facebook and was given a gamut of images and information on their lives. These individuals with whom I share a name live diverse lives and hail from different places all over the globe- Chicago, Utah, Los Angeles, Guadalajara, Bogota, London, and Manila, among others. The prints featured in this exhibition are representations of their profile pics, painstakingly recreated using myself. For each portrayal, I gained and lost weight, obtained and even sometimes created similar attire, grew out facial and head hair, acquired necessary props such as live chickens, and tanned my skin accordingly in order to embody these individuals’ self-representations.