As an artist I am interested in the simple and at times contrived aspects of sociopolitical life, namely the ways we interact with labor, gender, and race.
‘Build’ is an exploration into masculinity and home construction. The work takes stylistic cues from the paintings of Kehinde Wiley, and is largely informed by Jacob Lawrence’s ‘Builder’s’ series, in which construction is seen as a metaphor for abstract progress.
Athletic young men are sensuously painted over large built surfaces. Associations of prosperity, security, and labor resonate from the imagery and shape an idealized masculinity. It is unclear whether these associations derive from a fundamental male essence or if they are constructions in and of themselves, cultivated through a gender “performance.” In the end the figures home-like constructions serve no real function besides supporting the image of man as “builder.”