MARTIN SWIFT /
My work investigates contemporary masculinity and the implications of social accountability. Traditionally masculine traits such as aggression, strength, dominance, courage, and honor condone the objectification and abuse of all gender identities in the current social canon. This is a conundrum that I refer to as the "Paradox of Masculinity".
The assumption that a "real man" adheres to specific physical and intellectual aesthetics as well as the expectation that men confront the world impulsively and aggressively contributes to a cultural rejection of male empathy and compassion colloquially referred to as “toxic masculinity”.
My work is a direct response to this paradox and examines a spectrum of masculinity by highlighting emotional transparency, vulnerability, and accountability in a community of my peers. I celebrate unidealic male bodies, sensitive depictions of fatherhood, and the struggle with mental illness in a diverse range of individuals. My figurative oil paintings explore the many faces of "manliness".