Heriberto "Eddie" Palacio III, MFA
Visual Artist and Researcher
I am an Afro Hispanic who is also apart of the LGBTQIA+ community and identifies as a pansexual man. I was born and raised in Bronx, New York until my family relocated to Atlanta, GA during my high school years, giving me an introduction to southern culture. I studied at Tennessee State University in Nashville, TN earning my BFA in Art and continued my education at Watkins College of Art in Nashville, TN earning his MFA in Visual Arts in 2020. In Lubbock, TX early 2023 I earned my Class A Barber's License and later earned my Women's and Gender Studies Graduate Certificate from Texas Tech University. Presently, I am a Doctoral candidate at in the Fine Arts Doctoral Program at Texas Tech University in Lubbock,TX will earn my Fine Arts PhD in Critical Studies & Artistic practice through interdisciplinary scholarship and research.
● Black masculinity
● “Black Bromance” and platonic intimacy between Black men and with others
● Black barbershop culture (I plan to also become a licensed barber)
● Addressing mental health disparities in African American men (I plan to also become a licensed therapist)
● The gender formation of masculinity for Black men (and male identifying individuals)
● The gender formation of masculinity for (Black) queer, trans, and non-binary Black male identifying individuals
● How media portrays, formulates, and perpetuates stereotypes about Black masculinity
I am an interdisciplinary Artist that explores human relations and awareness through research that investigates social constructs, gender studies, psychology, emotional intelligence, and African American studies. My exploratory studio work consists of different mediums that prioritizes the context over the aesthetic of medium specificity. This allows me the freedom to create without emphasis on the medium as a catalyst for my work and to focus on the research process as it shapes and forms my art-making practice. Using my art practice, I investigate my relationship with identity, close relationships with others, and the varying gender formations of Black masculinity. I further investigate these relationships through research on how relationships amongst individuals or a group influence emotional competency and expression. I explore the value of emotional intelligence in various Black communities and how to acknowledge and potentially repair relationships within them using this research and furthering forming my studio practice in response to that. My larger utopian goal is to use my art practice to raise awareness of the need for emotional intelligence so that marginalized communities (and dominant communities alike) are better equipped to build relationships between peers for the betterment of our social relationships. My primary goal is to cultivate a space/project specifically to uplift and educate the Black community. This multifaceted space would ideally operate as a gallery space, community building space, barbershop/salon, and therapeutic practice. I will continue to make art, research, write, become a licensed barber, and therapist. My goal for this space is specifically aimed to spark engagement and conversation around Black masculinity as well as creating healthy emotional expressions of positivity and exposure to Black males and their allies but, is a welcoming space for all members of society to engage as well.
A bromance, an urban term, is an intimate, non-sexual relationship between two or more men. It is a tight, affectionate, homosocial male bonding relationship exceeding that of usual friendship, and is distinguished by a particularly high level of emotional intimacy.
My research has pushed my studio interests to visually investigate platonic relationships between African American males. I am exploring and exposing the boundary of the “Black bromance" (platonic intimacy between Black men) and its controversy within the Black community and larger social climate of American culture. It is not a common phenomenon in the African American community and when it does occur, it is rarely discussed. I am interrogating the boundaries of society’s understanding of this in the context of Black men and their projected, stereotyped capacity of affection to only be sexual, lustful, or violent. My work challenges how people receive these images, making them to ponder within themselves, and amongst others, what is platonic, homosexual, too intimate, passable, suspect, etc.