Artist Interview

Week 11 – Artist Interview – Gabriel Garcia

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Gabriel Garcia’s Toxic Masculinity exhibit was one of the more popular galleries this week. Toxic Masculinity featured many posters presenting the negative culture masculinity has in society nowadays. Gabriel wanted to showcase a few main topics:

  • Domestic violence and how it should be reported more so that it doesn’t continue
  • Being in service of the United States doesn’t give men the right to be violent towards people they love
  • And how a man’s strength could lead to violent acts.

I took a good look at each wall, trying to get the message of each poster. The picture above is of the wall seen once you enter. The first poster “DON’T BE A PUSSY” reminded me of the guest speakers I had in my communications class the other day. They were from Interact on campus and they did a skit on sexual assualt. One of the characters was trying to get his friend to show his girlfriend “who’s in charge” and to not act like a bitch/pussy around her. The friend eventually raped his girlfriend, as a result of his friend’s tormenting. “Don’t be a pussy” is probably a thought that goes through a man’s head before being violent to hype them up to do what they want to do.

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This next wall reminded me of the case of Ray Rice, a former NFL player who beat his fiancee in an elevator. I understood the helmet picture and how that represents football, thus presenting the ideas of rough, tough, hard-hitting, etc. The poster of the one that says “ABUSER” took a little more time to understand. What I got from it however, is that the shield in the back is like a patch you get on a varsity jacket. In the middle of the patch says “champion” but it’s erased and labeled “ABUSER” instead. I thought the next poster had nothing to do with football but then I realized that the outline is of football pads and the NFL trophy is in the corner. So, I tied this all together with the banner from the first picture of “Fiancee + Assault = Wife” to Ray Rice’s case. Ray Rice was successful, earning his first ring in 2013 but however a year later, he abused his future wife and was arrested for assault. Surprisingly, Rice’s fiancee stuck with him and eventually married him despite the fact that he abused her to the point of unconsciousness.

I thought this gallery was very informative on how men have these characteristics that shows how manly they are but how nowadays, these characteristics and traits are used negatively, especially towards women. What I like most about this gallery is that it’s very relevant and I liked how I could relate this subject to recent stories.

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