Los Angeles photographer Duke Shoman has taken the idea of the private lives of our heroes and has created the breathtaking and poignant SUbPAR HEROES, a 10-piece art collection, which portrays some of the most well-known fictional heroes in very human situations.
“Superheroes are the most untouchable characters in our modern mythology, we esteem them to be impervious to any kind of hardships due to their supernatural abilities allowing them to bypass situations that the common man is forced to deal with, but what if we were allowed to pull off their masks, and witness them in their daily human lives, complete with the same struggles millions of people deal with every day?”
“One can never know what personal issues someone may be battling with, whether rich, poor, powerful, celebrity, or blue collar worker. We all have our demons and every human experiences pain indiscriminately.”
“As a fan of the various comic series, I always revered these fantastic characters as always having an answer to whatever obstacle stood in their way, but when the answers weren’t as easy as ‘Get the bad guy’ and they had the additive of human flaw and susceptibility, what would happen? With this in mind I chose characters based on their given superhero abilities and allowable vulnerabilities and chose their hardships based on things their gifts couldn’t alleviate. What if characters resembling that of Spider-Man — the wisecracking happy kid to the casual observer — actually suffered from depression that eventually lead to his suicide? On the other hand, a character resembling an icon such as Wonder Woman — the most powerful female figure in our society — was the ideal personage to model for domestic abuse. No matter how strong a woman may appear in the outside world, there are countless women that struggle with abusive spouses behind closed doors.”
Shoman not only creates his imagery, but he also uses himself in this projects. In the SUbPAR HEROES series he portrays four of the ten characters and stands in as an extra in another. The rest of the characters were professional acquaintances and friends that were willing to follow him on his wild and (possibly controversial) artistic vision.
“The images, aside from being fun, vibrant, and engaging at first glance, hold the deeper minded audience on each image with subtle creative accents that depict the deeper darker underlying storylines. As a photographer, I’ve always thought it a victory if I was able to keep someone engaged on an image for an entire minute; it’s not an easy mission to accomplish. Although the characters are the first thing that is seen, they are merely eye candy to facilitate the greater message and idea incorporated in each scenario. The characters are only tools.”
“The idea is always the most important component of any photography creation. Being able to transpose a mass collection of thoughts, sentiments, feelings, and emotions in a single image is a wildly difficult and beautiful thing that I feel fortunate enough to be able to do for all my viewers. I hope this series finds you well, not only as an artistic expression, but also for those who are struggling with any of these issues. Know that you aren’t alone and even the strongest and most resilient of us have cracks, and falter from time to time."
Please enjoy these SUbPAR HEROES”
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