Artist Guy James Whitworth On What Maketh A Man

By Mikey Carr

What Maketh A Man was the central theme of visual artist Guy James Whitworth’s latest exhibition. It was even the name of the exhibition. A collection of male nudes realized in watercolor sketches showcased at The Shop Gallery in Glebe last week, the exhibition explored the diversity of the male form, questioning notions of contemporary masculinity.

Whitworth has always been concerned with themes of identity, and specifically the Queer perspective on masculinity. With this exhibition however he examined the subject closer than ever challenging traditional sexual politics and gender roles through his selection of a wide range of different subjects and stripping away all artifice as the subject stripped themselves of their clothes. For sportsmen, dancers and body builders, to investment bankers, political activists and even yours truly, What Maketh A Man suggests that there is no one way to be that defines masculinity.

“Men die by suicide 3.5 times more often than women. As someone who has struggled throughout life with the concept of masculinity and where I fit within its narrow boundaries, this exhibition is me offering a visual remedy to other men who struggle,” Whitworth said of his inspiration in tackling the subject.

“In modern life there is an outdated and unrealistic benchmark of masculinity, this exhibition is an attempt to antidote and counteract that, hopefully inspiring new positive and diverse ideals of masculinity”.

Watch our interview with him on our Facebook page here.

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