Ongoing: 11th – 30th of April 2012, Young Art (Stockholm)
This month, Young Art is presenting their first “themed exhibition”, with work by Johan Ray Pedersen and Viktor Johansson. In the exhibition Maskulin, the focus is laid on how social norms of masculinity looks like, can be questioned and changed. The two artists tackle the theme from different perspectives and with different techniques but come together in their interest of the expectations and definitions of today’s manliness.
Johan Ray Pedersen (b. 1975) focuses on the stereotypical male ideal of society and the arts. For two years he has been working with paintings and collage, studying classical male attributes and symbols, such as penises, horses, bodybuilders and industrial environments. The paradox in choices of subjects can both go against and emphasize what is considered to be masculine but still un-masculine to portray. According to himself, he has even been asked if he isn’t afraid to become gay, while painting penises! With his work Johan wants to de-dramatize the emphases on what is feminine or masculine – and instead focus on what is human. Or as he self puts it:
“Is it really that dangerous to paint some penises?”
Viktor Johansson (b. 1987) works with photography as an artistic medium. In the past year, he has (among other projects) examined men in groups and their fear of physical contact. For the exhibition, Viktor Johansson has chosen to follow five male friendship pairs, portraying best friends and their way of socializing. The theory he carries is that men often only have one or two friends where the physical contact is natural, artless, and without prejudice. Through his photographs Viktor Johansson questions the social norms of masculinity and studies men’s views on non-sexual physical contact. Why can women, unlike men, hold hands and share a bed without anyone questioning their sexual orientation?
Photographs by Viktor Johansson belong to Young Art / Other photos taken by Konsthopp
So– what does it really mean to be a man today? Is masculinity carved in stones? An image associated with taboos – saying that men should not show emotions or paint penises? Or is it constantly changing? As many of today’s gender debate is often dominated by the theme of how women can change, I believe the theme of “masculinity” hits right across!
As we have mentioned before, Young Art is the place for those who are interested in enthusiastic art by emerging artists, and is always worth visiting! This time there is no exception! The exhibition runs until 30th of April 2012.
Artists: Johan Ray Pedersen & Viktor Johansson
Date: 11th – 30th of April 2012
Place: Young Art, Artillerigatan 6, Stockholm
Opening hours: Wednesday – Friday, 12.00 – 18.00 ; Saturday – Sunday, 12.00 – 16.00