Sultan is a Badass?


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, 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 small arms. As the notion of masculinity transforms, it transforms our needs and desires too. And it is this dynamic that I am after.


This piece in the mini series might be the one with the most obvious poke at the modern notion of masculinity. The sultan is the ultimate symbol of patriarchy in Turkish culture. As cultures transform so do the people living within them.  On this artwork I depicted the sultan with nultiple more than subtle cues to reflect this slow but steady change.


Can you spot them?


More about the artwork

Get an unframed gallery print of this piece here.


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Explore my graphic design work here.

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