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Between and Mortarboard


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Temple of Autos

Accession Number
2004/1.155

Title
Temple of Autos

Artist(s)
George Vargas

Medium & Support
photo collage on foam core

Dimensions
20 3/16 in x 12 3/16 in (51.28 cm x 30.96 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of the artist

Subject matter
As a long-time Michigan resident, Vargas was noticeably influenced by the automobile industry; Vargas' parents both worked in the automobile industry.  In 1985 Varags created Michigan Worker, which like this collage, is a reference to industry. The textiles pictured appear to be Mexican textiles, perhaps a reference to Vargas' Mexican American heritage.  

The man and woman shown in the photos are Sal Mineo and Tuesday Weld, American actors. Mineo described himself as bisexual, and he was murdered in 1976 during the time that he was playing the role of a bisexual burgular in P.S. Your Cat is Dead. Mineo's death became a symbol of violence against the LGBTQ community.

Physical Description
This is a collage of black and white photographs showing parts of automobiles including mirror images of some of them, making the near symmetry a bit syncopated. There are repeated photos of two different couples, one of a man and a woman, the other of two men, photos of textiles and a photo of woman wearing similar textile, and a large hat in the bottom left corner. 

Primary Object Classification
Mixed Media

Collection Area
Modern and Contemporary

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form. Keywords
LGBT
Latino
Mexican American
actors (performing artists)
automobiles
black-and-white photographs
collages (visual works)
couples
industry (economic concept)
textiles (visual works)

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& Author Notes

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