​My work investigates stereotypes of masculinity and how queer sexuality both defies and confines itself to those gender roles and expectations. Working with oils, acrylics, and pastels on both wood panels and paper, I enhance local colors to translate and reflect the vivid and intense internal experiences when navigating sexuality and gender identity. Through self-portraiture, I depict myself against conventional masculine imagery like muscular bodies, phallic imagery, and male nudity to illustrate the differences between my body and these images of conventional masculinity. Through this juxtaposition, I expose the ways I do not conform to the conventions of manhood, and by extension, nobody does. In contrast, I also reveal the ways in which I do conform myself to these stereotypes, whether through the inherent male-ness of my own nude body, the articles of clothing I possess, or the rituals I subscribe to. I translate this dichotomy of aspects of masculinity both rejected and embraced in queer sexuality and hope viewers will examine their own ideas of what is “masculine” and ultimately see it for what it is: a self-imposed set of restrictions that nobody can conform to.
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