FIGHTING SPIRIT is the title of a thesis exhibition by Jillian Pichocki. It is a photographic series of large and mediumscale silver gelatin prints which focuses on the aging process of men engaged in the sport of boxing. In the past five decades, the socially accepted roles of men and women have changed. Whereas men often provided the sole source of income for the family; women served as the homemaker, maintaining the house, raising the children, and providing nourishment. The inspiration for this series stemmed from the relationship with my late grandfather who passed away in 1997. He was 79 when he died and it was his vitality and determination to remain selfsufficient that instilled my sense of compassion towards elderly men. I never met my grandmothers (both died from cancer when I was young) and therefore never witnessed, first hand, the physical affects of the aging process on a woman. Senior years can be difficult for many reasons. However, by pairing the fragility of age with the machismo associated with boxing allowed me to examine, metaphorically, the strength that exists within. More specifically, for the men of this series who once radiated strength and independence. This work renewed their perspective on life, as well as demonstrate, what it means to have a “fighting spirit.” My thesis will explain the journey that led to choosing to work with this subject matter. It will also explain the influences and technical processes involved with the photographic medium used.
Fighting Spirit, Boxing, Photography, Jillian Pichocki, Mural Printing, Aging Men