This week I was drawn to a specific gallery because of the profanity I saw. At first I was very shocked and needed to enter the gallery to see what other words or phrases were on display. The words and phrases were posted all around the walls. It was very bold and almost as the art was yelling at me. The messages were definitely being put across in a very masculine manner. As I stepped back and looked at the four walls with words as a whole I interpreted it as some sort of propaganda. There was a firm message with an intended audience. These writings might even be described as controversial to certain groups of people. I was eager to learn more.
My interpretation was definitely on the right track! I met young artist Gabriel Garcia who named his collection of art Toxic Masculinity. This name perfectly described and summed up his work. His main purpose in creating this piece was to explain how there is an obvious negative effect that comes with the masculinity of males. There is a sense of danger that comes with masculinity as well as violence. In order to portray this dark message, Garcia chose to work with charcoal. All the pieces displayed were on rolls of paper and he used only charcoal to create his pieces. This was actually his thesis and he had been working on this piece since January.
Due to Garcia’s portrayal of masculinity I was curious if this was his actual perspective on the topic. Garcia explained how this was not his perspective, but it represented a stereotype viewpoint. All the words and phrases he included in his art work were the ones he thought best summed up the masculine culture. Since the artwork is so bold, I was curious if any of the people who have visited his gallery were offended . Garcia said he did have one confrontation. There was one homosexual male who walked into his gallery with his friend and he made very loud comments of how he was offended. Although it may be controversial, I think it is important that art is just a form of expression and making a statement. Garcia’s artwork is very strong and I greatly respect him for that.