Stock Boyz

Gainers and Losers, 2009

Stock Boyz is a series of male pin-ups of anonymous figures in different stages of undress. In the early 2000s, they appeared on several obscure, mostly Eastern European and now defunct, fetish websites. Some appear to be the rough trade and/or "gay for pay," while others come off as hustlers and exhibitionists by chance not choice.

The images are printed in different sepia tones on stock charts pages from business newspapers such as The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, the pages exposed to the sunlight for a period of one to four weeks, to give them different density of vintage fade. Then they're sealed with acrylic on canvas panels, which prevents them from further fading.

I started this series shortly before the devastating market crash of September 2008, using the charts graphics as an abstract background. Initially I thought of this series as a commentary on commodification of youth in our consumerist society. However, after the market crash, it gained the whole new, more sinister meaning.

As economy kept getting worse, the numbers and graphics kept on changing dramatically. I continued collecting the charts and making new pin-ups, giving them names made of current headlines: Small Capitalization, Most Active, Slow Growth, Total Volume, Behind and Ahead, Gainers and Losers, New Highs and Lows, etc...

While the rigid headlines, stripped off their actual meaning, sound frivolous and suggestive, the boys’ exposed fragile bodies, taken out of sexual context, slowly dissolve in the ocean of cruel digits. Bit by bit, they are swallowed by the Capitalist greed and over-indulgence.