Real Life Superheroes and Real Life Artist Team-Up!
Originally Posted: http://evansgallery.wordpress.com/2010/08/11/real-life-superheroes-and-real-life-artist-team-up/
If you know me at all, you know that I like superheroes. Like most children (and most adults if we just admit it), I have always wanted to be a superhero. Sure, part of that is the powers, as well as the snazzy get-ups, but I’ve always been in love with the idealism. Superheroes come from a world where good stands against evil, you know what’s right and what’s wrong, and you can stand up and do something about it. That may very well be the biggest fantasy of all.
I’ve been aware of the Real Life Super Hero (RLSH) movement for several years now. Citizen Prime (a resident of Utah I might add) was one of the first public faces of the movement, and over the years more and more people are making costumes and heading out to save the world. However, while many comic book heroes spend their time giving well-delivered right hooks to villains and ne’er-do-wells, these heroes are often more concerned with social projects, including helping the homeless, crime prevention, and charitable work. They all have different reasons and motivations for putting on a costume, but to me, however effective it may be in the end, it shows that people want to get out into the world and do something. The crazy costumes and code names represent the fact that we can be more than what we are, and we can always take another step up. While I won’t speak for all of them, it’s clear that the ideals of helping others and justice for all aren’t lost on some of these heroes, and they want to make a difference.
Photographer Peter Tangen, known best for his Spider-Man and Batman movie posters, has begun to document members of the RLSH community, creating vivid and stylized posters and portraits. The site, www.reallifesuperheroes.com,has only been around for a few months, but already profiles a number of heroes, including DC’s Guardian, New York’s Life, and Rochester, MN’s Geist. It’s a brilliant project (I actually considered trying to write a book about it a few years ago), and Tangen’s work is very professional and engaging. Whether you agree with their ideals or their fashion sense, give the site a look. It’s certainly a fascinating subculture, and one that I expect we’ll only hear more from in the future. We certainly don’t need anyone on the streets delivering vigilante justice, but we could always use a few more helping hands.