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Machismo #6

2020

16 x 20 inches

Acrylic on Linen

This piece depicts a young boy and girl separated by a wall of pink barbed wire. The goal here is show the very distinct line between what defines a girl and a boy. If either one tries to cross that barbed gender line, it becomes painful, even in the smallest instances. Boys who paint their nails will find themselves punished by their parents, their peers, or society. Girls who stand up for themselves are labeled bossy in childhood and bitchy in adulthood.

Some get pricked once and never go near the wall again. Others push to get scratched and wear their small scars with pride. Then there are those who return day after day and fight to survive through all the barbs: bathroom laws, hate crimes, discrimination, high suicide rates, rape, and murder.

 

The land on the girl’s side is barren and desolate, while the land on the boy’s side is fertile and supple for planting. He has been given the tools to cultivate success and she has not. This philosophy matches their halos. He was born with his, while she has yet to earn hers.

 

When a wall is built, the point is usually to defend one side from the other. So I ask you to contemplate which one is being trapped and which one is being protected.