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The "Briden" Piece

Updated: Aug 7, 2020

Masculinity in our society can be perceived as many things. The roles of gender are laid out like a hand guide as soon as our tiny bodies exit our mother’s wombs. However, in this work I question those gender roles through the beauty of a trans man's body.

Briden--the name of the model in the painting--was once referred to as a girl before transitioning, and although almost all of his body has gone through the steps of fitting into his new perceived masculinity there is just one thing missing--a penis--something one would never know by looking at him. So why should it define what makes him a man?

In this painting I question the viewpoints of those who believe people should perform gender roles based on what sex they were assigned at birth. By adding lace to the background I note the ridiculousness of gender roles. This fabric which is encircled in the ideas of marriage and associated with women’s clothing is painted in a way that comes off as something hard and almost cement like. By doing this I show the hypocrisy of forcing labels and stereotypes of masculinity vs femininity onto people.

This juxtaposition between body, material, and idea begs to ask the question why we have to conform to certain stereotypes--especially those that create fragile masculinity. In a sense, this painting shows the inner anxiety, and vulnerability around nouveau masculinity and the idea of “passing”. It is not a hand guide for the viewer, but instead a visual unveiling.

“Briden” 4*3 feet oil on canvas 2018

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