Bat Wing Teddy

Oscar Graves


Oscar Zamora Graves is a gay collage and assemblage artist whose interests include magical girls anime, classic Americana kitsch, and vintage gay porn. He spent his childhood in the suburbs of Los Angeles and Orange County after immigrating to the United States from Mexico at 3 years old. He moved to San Francisco in 2010 to study fine art at City College and then SFSU. He lives in Duboce Triangle in a tiny, rent-controlled, Victorian fainting parlor that he plans to cling to until he dies.

As a child, he was influenced by Orange County’s surfing and beach culture along with the all-encompassing and almost cult-like world of Disneyland fanatics. Every Summer his family would make the pilgrimage back to his hometown of Comala, Mexico where he was influenced by the homemade Catholic altars dedicated to saints and lost loved ones in every home. During his teenage years, he explored all the art museums of LA county even though it meant braving the painstakingly slow public transit system. As an art student, he learned to love art history and the many homoerotic demi-gods that were depicted in oil or stone.

His artwork plays with the concepts of masculinity and femininity while exploring his complicated love/hate relationship with both. His artwork looks at gender and sexuality as something that can and should be fun, silly, and fabulous.


Physique & Fantasy is a series of collage shadow boxes that depict gay men from vintage bodybuilding magazines, gay erotic photography books, and the modern day gay porn star’s Instagram accounts. The men are dressed up in costumes and placed in their own hazy dreamworlds. Each collage is a sparkly, saccharine altar dedicated to a different gay erotic fantasy.

The series was originally inspired by the many vintage bodybuilding magazines that were coded gay media which carefully avoided breaking the obscenity laws of the time. I wanted to create compositions that juxtapose the strong masculinity and sexuality of the men in the pictures against lighthearted and feminine elements like iridescent bubbles, pastel flowers, and anime sparkles. My collages are an homage to the bittersweet history of gay erotica and the great artwork that can be created when the male gaze is combined with a love for kitsch, camp, and queer aesthetics