Boys will be Boys: Illustrating the Male Psyche in Crisis

By Scott Gordley.

Published by The Humanities Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper addresses a re-examination of the masculine construct in times of personal and historical crisis. At the core of this examination is the artist’s perspective on critical events that serve to alter out-dated gender stereotypes. These critical events include: family crisis (death, divorce, etc.), emotional crisis, political upheaval, as well as physical disablement. From broad social groups to the intimately personal, this paper attempts to focus on trends in the promotion of masculine prototypes that create conflict, and the impact this conflict has on one’s personal and creative direction. Two artists who have addressed gender construction relevant to historical crisis (and who will be discussed) include photographer/sculptor Hans Bellmer (WWII and the German influence regarding women) and American underground illustrator Robert Crumb (responding to the omniscient patriarchal father as well as masochism, sadomasochism and the denial of self resulting in the parodying of commercialized and staged voyeurism popularized in the media). Questions are raised regarding the myths of masculine role-playing and the masculine penchant for self-punishment. Art that explores these issues of masculine conflict will serve to illustrate the crisis of gender role-playing.

Keywords: Masculinity, Gender, Art, Personal Crisis, Historical Crisis

The International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 6, Issue 12, pp.79-92. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 4.470MB).

Prof. Scott Gordley

Professor, Dept. of Art & Design, College of the Arts, Montclair State University, Upper Montclair, NJ, USA

Scott Gordley graduated with an MFA from Tufts University. He is currently a Professor of Fine Arts at Montclair State University. His work appears in many public and private collections and has been exhibited in solo and group shows throughout the United States and Austria. In 1999 a 20-year retrospective of his work was held in Vienna, Austria. In 1998 Gordley was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts grant in conjunction with the Connecticut Commission on the Arts to produce a documentary on the civil rights movement entitled Voices of Change with participation from Julian Bond, chairman of the NAACP and the Reverend Jesse Jackson. He is in the permanent collection of The American Soviet Theater Initiative in Moscow, the Swedish Royal Theater, HUD headquarters in Washington DC, Ringling School of Art, Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, and the J.B. Speed Museum among many others. In addition to painting Mr.Gordley is a talented saxophonist appearing on numerous recordings with jazz & blues artists such as Little Anthony, Johnny MacLeod, and the Gamma Rays. He currently plays with Rattle Head recording artists Erik Narwhal & the Manatees when not touring with his own jazz trio: the Scott Gordley Trio.

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