Masculinity (?)

If it was all a joke it would be forgivable…

I had the idea for these drawings 4 months ago and finally decided to finish them. The impetus came from an art lecture with my class where they were overly concerned with the piece ‘buckshot‘ that I made in Germany this summer.  I described these as investigations of Cultures of Honor* and discussed the manifestation of masculinity in a phallo-centric culture.

I don’t think they bought it.

*A Culture of Honor is usually found in rural areas where honor is paramount to survival, therefore violence is swift and necessary. See Richard Nesbet and Dov Cohen’s book “Culture of Honor”

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Details

Details… a bit of a contradictory misnomer.
Here are 3 drawings I have made since moving to Dallas.

Remington (Revolver) 22x15, graphite They are based on several influences. I am interested in the formal concerns that create the composition. I find it interesting to play off of ‘minimalism’ or ‘pure composition studies’ which often are blocks of color and/or linework that explore perception and space. By  having the subject (guns) create the structural composition the works can have a more complex dialogue. This allows for reading the pieces through a modernist lens while dually engaging the history of realism and photography in art.

The underlying thought is that the structure of the guns…
1) becomes less recognizable the closer you are to the weapon, which acts as a commentary on familiarity with violence. It also creates an abstract form that allows for multiple interpretations, hence #2…
2) the shapes take on an architectural feel when you crop them and lose the sense of scale by removing the background. This  echoes the idea in anthropology that a culture’s architecture reveals what they value.