“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.
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.
The original artworks are printed in different sepia tones on stock charts pages from business newspapers, 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.”
Text & images by Slava Mogutin ©Slava Mogutin
Slava Mogutin is a New York-based Russian-American multimedia artist and author exiled from Russia for his outspoken writing and activism. He was exhibited in 1st Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art (2005), 15th Tallinn Print Triennial (2008), 5th Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art and 56th La Biennale di Venezia, as part of Jaanus Samma’s NSFW. A Chairman’s Tale at the Estonian Pavilion (2015). He wrote for BUTT, Flash Art, Modern Painters, i-D, Dazed & Confused, Visionaire, L’Uomo Vogue, Stern, Libération, The Guardian, and The New York Times. He is a regular contributor to Gayletter, The Calvert Journal, Whitewall, Vice, Flaunt, The Stranger, and Document Journal. In 2014, Mogutin released his first collection of writings in English, Food Chain (ITNA Press, Brooklyn). His latest photography monograph, Bros & Brosephines, was published in 2017 by powerHouse Books, followed by the illustrated Straight to Hell edition, Pictures & Words (2018). He is currently at work on a bilingual collection of poetry, a book of essays and interviews covering over two decades of his journalistic work, Gay in the Gulag, and two books based on his analog and Polaroid photography.