Masculinity is not just an idea in the head, or a personal identity. It is also extended in the world, merged in organized social relations. (Connell, 1999) Social psychologists call the basic tenants of the ‘Male sex role’; Men’s quest for status; the air of toughness and confidence; reflections of aggression and daring behaviour; and above all, “No Sissy Stuff”. (David & Brannon, 1976)
My practice is a continued investigation into how masculine identity is formed, developed and expressed in the world. But also, how others perceive, react and respond to this ‘Masculine Performance’ by unpacking how and why men learn, then propagate and perpetuate ideas of masculinity throughout their life. The works address the burden of masculinity, the burden bound up in the collective practice of performing masculinity: loneliness, depression, violence, conspicuous over-consumption and the propensity for risk-taking.
The performance of the painter becomes critical but how can this performance be calibrated to celebrate the potential of the medium while avoiding it being a simplistic celebration of all things male? What can paint contribute to the content of the work and, more specifically, how can paint represent and embody those notions, rather than merely re-presenting observed action via a photo referent.