by Accidental Bear


About Jared:

It’s a special moment when a person’s art makes you step back and say, “Whoa, what the fuck happened to this dude when he was a kid?” Jared Buckhiester’s illustrations and photographs tell the story of that kid. But the tale he weaves isn’t one of pain and suffering, and he doesn’t wallow in clichés, despite growing up gay in a suffocating Southern Baptist community near the North Georgia Mountains. At 27 years old, it appears that he’s already fully digested the reality of his identity–not surprising, since he’s labeled himself queer since age 5.

Buckhiester relocated to New York in 1995 to study at Pratt Insitute and much of his early professional work was in photography. His photos have been on display at Rare Gallery and Steuben East Gallery (both in Brooklyn, NY) and published in Nylon Magazine,Mass Appeal, and Intervista. His subjects range from beady-eyed suburban misfits and lonely houses in the middle of nowhere to over-the-top prom disasters (think a sequined gown with train patterned after the American flag) and Deep South shitkickers at tailgate parties. The documentary style of his photos suggests an emotional distance from his subjects, but one look at his drawings and you feel as if you’ve accidentally walked in on something that you shouldn’t have seen.

In his black-and-white sketches, Buckhiester reveals moments of his past with a sense of humor and playful eroticism, spinning a possibly damaged childhood into a world of dark humor that, in his own words, revolves around the subject matters of “family, adolescence, church, faggots, queers, and Satan.” Whether he is intentionally exorcising demons or just poking fun at the antics of pre-pubescent queers, the intimacy and vulnerability of his drawings hints at a maturity that only a veteran of adversity could know. (www.xlr8r.com)

Interview at:


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