PAINTINGS > Zippers Short and Skinny

Zippers Short and Skinny explores the complex and often harmful phenomenon of toxic masculinity within the cultural landscape of the United States. As a continuation of the Dirty Laundry series, which surveyed my own identity, Zippers Short and Skinny aims to dissect the societal expectations and stereotypes that perpetuate toxic masculinity, examining how they manifest in various facets of American life.

In these hand-painted recreations, silky fabrics and hand-woven textiles are combined with historical works of men and boys to confront the effects of rigid gender norms, which not only restrict the emotional expression and personal growth of individuals, but also contribute to systemic issues such as violence, discrimination, and inequality. The notion that strength equates to dominance and aggression, seeking to dismantle the toxic narratives that reinforce harmful behaviors and attitudes as imbedded into our contemporary culture, is especially present amongst the politically extreme right (ie, Republican Senator Josh Hawley’s book ‘Manhood: The Masculine Virtues America Needs’).

Zippers Short and Skinny fosters dialogue and introspection, encouraging viewers to interrogate their own beliefs and behaviors while advocating for a more inclusive and equitable society. This body of work strives to contribute to the ongoing conversation surrounding gender, identity, and social justice, ultimately envisioning a future where all individuals are free to express themselves authentically, without fear or prejudice.

John Hancock (after Copley)
oil + acrylic on canvas, handwoven natural + synthetic yarn
63 X 36 in (160.02 x 91.44 cm)
2023
John Hancock (after Copley), in situ
oil + acrylic on canvas, handwoven natural + synthetic yarn
63 X 36 in (160.02 x 91.44 cm)
2023
Hand of A Boy In Pink Satin Fabric
oil + acrylic on canvas
32 x 26 in (81.28 x 66.04 cm)
2023
Portrait of A Youth In An Embroidered Vest (after Lemoine)
acrylic on canvas, handwoven natural and synthetic yarn
52 x 27 x 2.5 in (132.08 x 68.58 x 6.35 cm)
2023
Various Fabrics: Portrait of Thomas Abthorpe Cooper (after Harding)
oil + acrylic on canvas
36 x 30 in (91.44 x 76.20 cm)
2023
Pink Satin Fabric
oil on canvas
20 x 20 in (50.8 x 50.8 cm)
2023
Floral Fabric Study
oil on canvas
20 x 16 in (50.8 x 40.64 cm)
2023
Soft Gold Satin Fabric Study
oil on canvas
16 x 16 in (41.64 x 41.64 cm)
2022
Blue Satin Fabric Study
oil on canvas
32 x 30 in (81.28 x 76.2 cm)
2023