Gay NYC art student creates photo series in homage to his mom's "vulnerability" and "imperfections"

Fortunato Castro, an openly gay art student at Cooper Union in New York City, has created a senior thesis that is as visually stunning as it is emotionally moving. The 27-year-old has produced a photography series in which he emulates pictures of his mother from her youth.

He told Instinct Magazine:

"At first I think I was hesitant to make these images because I’m not a woman and I don’t want to be a woman," he says about the project. "I’m not a drag performer. And I think, being a gay man, it’s very easy for someone to put you in that hole—like, That’s a man who wants to be a woman, which isn’t what this work is about at all. I’m very protective of my mother, and I think it was really important for me to make the images as honest as they are, because they’re not perfect. I’m not perfect. And my mother isn’t perfect. I think because the images are sort of about a false reality, the only element of truth I could have is that vulnerability."

To see more of the photos and learn more about Fortunato's Salvadoran, story-telling mother, you can read the full story here.