It Ain't Easy Bein' Sleazy (2020)
Embroidery thread, felt and feathers
As a conceptually driven artist, I am stimulated by the political conversations that happen in the society I am situated in. With the series Did You Dress Like That 4 Me, I examine the complex nature of toxic masculinity, its roots, expansiveness and the momentum of backlash that is brewing with current generations.
Stimulated by my studies in Gender and Sexuality, I have investigated and engaged with third wave feminist practices while exploring the theme of “Cat-calling”; an act on the less serious yet still formative end of toxic masculinity. In harmony with fourth wave feminism, I have used internet interaction to collect and collate the examples of catcalls experienced by a significant number of individuals. To materialise this notion, I have created an embellished ball skirt, drawing on craft processes such as embroidery, knitting and sewing, heavily inspired by artists such as Tracey Emin, Judy Chicago and Miriam Schapiro. With this work I incorporate humour, kitsch, playfulness married with the confronting directness of vulgar text. As the skirt is intact wearable, the project adds the possibility for the piece to become performative.
To represent the traits that counteract the notion of toxic masculinity, I have harped on the notion of male portraiture. Traditionally to signify strength, status and worship-worthy masculinity; I have taken a contemporary spin on the notion of the male portrait. In these paintings the focus is on the softer and gentler traits inherently within men. This is conveyed the depiction of emotion, caring interaction, pastel colours and mixed media.
This project I hope to expand as I continue to explore the many facets of toxic masculinity, gender and sexuality.