Figurative realist painter Martin Swift is debuting a series of large scale (7 feet tall!) male nudes that investigate the definition of masculinity, entitled Paradox of Masculinity. To take things up a notch, Micah Greenberg and I curated programming on gender and masculinity in partnership with some amazing creative partners. We have some awesome events, the opening (which will be insane and wonderful), and the artist working out of the space several days a week to produce another painting that you can come and watch. Check out the full details below, and join us for the opening July 25th, 7-10pm, Above the Bike Shop, 2503 Champlain St NW, Washington DC.
Enjoy the short film I made above - can't wait to see you at the opening!
An Engaging Exhibition
Using contemporary subjects and subject matter surrounding the fortification of gender stereotypes, Paradox of Masculinity is a direct response to the idea of what it means to “be a man.” Personal and public notions of masculinity are idealized and exaggerated. Unhealthy societal pressures and depictions of masculinity in America encourage traditional – and expected – masculine traits and behaviors. The result is that many men not only objectify women, but also objectify themselves. With Paradox of Masculinity, painter Martin Swift presents idealized images of culturally un-idyllic male figures in arresting, large-format nudes. The large scale, imposing works cannot be ignored, and neither can the interrogation and conversation they present.
An Immersive Environment
Every aspect of this month-long exhibition will be immersive for audiences and relevant to the theme. Held in a non-traditional gallery space, Above the Bike Shop, Paradox of Masculinity will be shown in the context of a man’s living space, with staging assistance from menswear brand MUTINY. MUTINY is a self-described “collective dedicated to the brooding man with a meaty intellect” and will bring the space to life with ephemera and installations consistent with the theme of masculinity. Over the course of the month, Martin Swift will also work out of the space, creating an interactive environment and completing a new work by the exhibition’s end.
A Month of Programming Along the Theme
Groundbreaking weekly programming will engage buyers and influencers and help to bring the exhibition to life. Planned programming includes a private drawing session presented with Michael Clements and ArtJamz, where collectors will have the opportunity to sketch the artist himself, an evening of performance art with Sheldon Scott and Armando Lopez-Bircann of the new and groundbreaking performance art platform Animals & Fire, and a conversation on gender identity and sexuality in art with Jason Edward Tucker, Christopher Cunetto and Boys Be Good. Additional programming details will be announced prior to the show’s opening on July 25th and throughout the month. Many thanks to our partners!