Another Pansy | 40″ x 40″ | Oil on Canvas | 2021
My work stems from a profound feeling of inadequacy. My insecurity has made me question my identity, self-worth, and authenticity. At times I feel I have no individual choice and only a set of expectations to meet. Despite all of the progress I have made, I am still exposed to toxic masculinity time and time again.
Toxic masculinity can be identified by deliberate actions that are intended to assert dominance and reaffirm a person’s control. Masculinity is not a biological trait; masculinity is a social construct that all human beings can perform. Performative masculinity manifests itself through emotional detachment, compensation, and the emasculation of others. I believe our culture has institutionalized toxic masculinity by way of the patriarchy, systemic bigotry, and the rape culture we live in. My work aims to bring light to my criticisms and concerns regarding toxic masculinity. I strategically use imagery of men and women to challenge and reaffirm our inherent bias towards gender and sexuality. My goal is to inform and encourage people to realize they have individual choice and no one is welded to a binary. I believe that we must learn to recognize and acknowledge the shortcomings of our own character so that we as individuals can promote cultural change.
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