Senior Exhibition 2014 Gallery



image preview

Creation Date



Materials: Inkjet print and makeup

Dimensions: 13 X 20 inches

Project Advisor: Benjamin D. Rinehart

Year of Graduation: 2014



Artist Statement

I am primarily a makeup artist with a focus on transforming people into beautiful, empowered beings, but the better half of me is a Glamazon-sized drag queen known by the name Aqua Mirage. I want to be pretty for Jesus, too! is a fusion of the world of drag queens and my childhood experiences growing up in Waco, TX, where you can find a church on almost every corner. Ironically, it was at my southern pentecostal church that my affair with makeup began as a young boy. I would stare at the beautiful singers on stage and admire them for the pounds of makeup they caked onto their faces to look pretty for Jesus. I often thought to myself, “I want to look pretty for Jesus, too!” It was in that moment that the little latino drag queen was born.

In the gay community, it is almost taboo to be considered a “pretty boy.” In the land of American football, ice cold Bud Light, six-pack abs, and jocks, masculine traits are glorified by a large portion of the gay community under the pretense that being flamboyant, pretty, and/or proud is detrimental to the progress being made within our community. Unfortunately, a significant portion of this negativity can be attributed to the role that religion has played in our community for far too long.

RuPaul, my personal role model and a major influence in my life, says this: “As drag queens, it’s our job to poke fun at the hypocrisy, mediocrity, and absurdity of society.” My intent with my photos is not to spark controversy and have people clamoring to tear down my photos, but to start a liberation movement of my own for the queer pretty boys of the world that have been told to “man up” for far too long. The adjective pretty should not only be reserved for women; it is time for queer men of all colors, backgrounds, races, etc., to be comfortable and confident with describing themselves as something other than masculine. Religion dictated the way that I lived my life when I was younger, and sometimes that just doesn’t work out for those of us born with too much sense fashion sense for one gender.

A very special thanks to my pretty boy model and sister in crime, Marshall Cuffe.


Copyright for this work is held by the artist.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.


gender, sexuality, religion, christianity, virgin mary, makeup, drag, drag queen