Artist Statement for "Macho" Exhibition at Cross MacKenzie Gallery in Washington DC, 2012.
My idea of masculinity has been influenced by American values such as individualism, hard work, and perseverance. Throughout our history innovative entrepreneurs and vigorous workers revolutionized production fostering diverse industries which, from their experience, helped install these values into our everyday lives. I cultivate this American experience into an object that not only helps define masculinity in our culture, but also acknowledges America?s history and abilities of mass-production that has asserted economic dominance and influence across the globe for more than a century.
Sometimes our own masculinity can conflict with society?s version and this divergence may initiate complexity into understanding ourselves. Many times through our lives we are confronted with choices for how to balance our obverse traits of toughness, strength, and bravado with compassion, sympathy, and empathy. Navigating this dichotomy is interesting and challenging, and proves to be a perpetual endeavor of the human experience.