Characters from shows such as He-Man, Conan, Dumb and Dumber, Smokey and the Bandits and many more encouraged the formation of masculinity and what was expected of boys as they became men. However, none of these gave images of men showing sympathy, vulnerability or emotional intelligence.
The work Dave (2019) draws from 80s and 90s television ideals of masculinity to recreate and break down the lofty concepts of the ‘perfect’ man and associated stereotypes, where boys are branded as already formed men.
By using fiberglass, inflatables, wood, paint and fabric manikin ‘blanks’ Dave is shaped to emulate men while standing at the height of a child, which is the age where boys are indoctrinated into masculine culture.
The work examines these ill-fitting stereotypes and their inability to be entirely blank. The flow on effect of these now ‘non-blank’ manikins queries the consequences of iteration.