Andrew Lyman’s Born to Fight Industries

Andrew Lyman
Born to Fight Industries
20×30, framed
Edition: 1/5, signed on verso

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Ones to Watch artist Andrew Lyman moves between bold colors and poetry as a central mechanism in his photography. Lyman, already having work featured in New York Magazine, is a photographic force with unwavering boldness.


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I made this photograph of my partner, Jackson, when we were living in his childhood bedroom in quarantine with his side of the family. I was 27, he was 20. We were going through his old clothes and I asked him to wear these ridiculous boxing shorts. Jackson is soft-spoken and quiet but accumulated a collection of clothing that were colorful, loud, and provocative. "Born to Fight® Industries," is the brand of the boxer shorts in the photograph that don a skull and cross-bones over the crotch area. They are sewn out of a heavy-duty, shiny, nylon, crimson fabric. Each element of the shorts was a lyric of an anthem to queer activism and sexual revolution that rang so clearly that I suspect there must have been a person who was queer working at this clothing brand that serves a cis-male-dominated sporting industry. The photograph repurposes in its narrative, in which "Born to Fight® Industries" is read as "Born to fight industries." The skull and cross-bones suggests the threat of death associated with the risks of gay sex and the passing of HIV/AIDS during acts of intimacy. Finally, the bright crimson red of the shorts and bed sheets invokes passion, lust, blood, and valor, as it fills the frame surrounding Jackson's pale midriff.

Andrew Lyman is a lens-based multi-media artist native to the city of Atlanta. His is a generational voice within the discourse of queer ontology speaking from the edge of the new millennium. Lyman’s unwavering disclosure of vivid honesty in photographs and poetry sheds new light on the complexities of living and finding meaning during an age of uncertainty and rapid regeneration beneath the shadow of global crisis. Lyman’s work is a reverential archive of love and intimacy that chronicles unfolding newness. Lyman received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the Savannah College of Art and Design and recently graduated with a Master of Fine Arts degree at Georgia State University. Lyman lives and works in downtown Atlanta as a working artist and instructor of photography in higher education.