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Dolls for Boys: Make Him a Monster
Bachelor of Fine Arts
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The problem with today’s man is not one of inherent toxicity but one of prescribed, inherited toxicity perpetuated by patriarchy, a societal system that would see male dominance survive at any cost, even at the mental, emotional and physical destruction of the man himself. My BFA thesis in art, Dolls for Boys: Make Him a Monster, is a series of sculptures, prints and an accompanying editioned artist book that strive to highlight what the founder of the Montessori Method of Education and one of the world’s first children’s rights activists, Dr. Maria Montessori, might describe as the willful destruction of a boy’s psychic spiritual development as he is indoctrinated into masculine performance, a disembodied mode of living that is both unnatural and repressive to the boy's humanity. Montessori’s admonishment lends voice to the plea I make visually with Dolls for Boys: “Do not erase the designs the child makes in the soft wax of his inner life.” It is not the right of society to undo what is innate in all children, “the vitality of their spirit, the maximum effort put forth in all they do, the intuition, attention and focus they bring to all life’s events, and the sheer joy they experience in living.” If more men were to recognize the oppression of patriarchy for what it is, a condition that harms them far more covertly than it does women, a sea change may finally come, resulting in a world where we see men living as flexibly, fully and joyfully as their unbridled, innate potential allows.
Dolls for Boys: Make Him a Monster is comprised of twelve sculptures and twelve screen prints illustrating the twelve characters in Team Toxic, a ragtag team of toxic buddies whose mission is to bring more boys into the fold by teaching them how to be "good" men: Toxic Toby, Noxious Ned, Sour Sam, Gangrenous Gregg, Moldy Mark, Putrid Paul, Tainted Ted, Rotten Robby, Curdled Kurt, Fetid Frank, Stagnant Stan and Rancid Ronny. Each print/sculpture is accompanied by a nursery rhyme illustrating that character's toxic male values and traits.
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