Sultan Discovers Baroque


This portrait is part of a mini-series of 4 portraits I did, each depicting the fragility of the modern idea of masculinity. Each piece in this series consists of the same 4 visual dynamics as laid out below:


  • A moustache as a symbol of masculinity
  • A failed, melancholic gaze with half-closed eyes
  • A varying level of sexual objectification
  • A dimension of time.


Wherever you live, one of the most traumatising perks(!) of being a gay person is your constant battle with the idea of masculinity. As with many of the most pressing questions in life, in the best scenario you end up in a love-hate relationship with whatever that word seems to capture. There’s a reason why many gay people populate gyms these days. It’s because a big heart does not make up for flabby arms. As the notion of masculinity transforms, it transforms us too. And it is this dynamic that I am after.


This artwork stands out from the rest of the mini-series with its focus on Baroque, as the period in which one of the biggest cultural shifts in society was starting to leave its mark on gender identity.


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