WHAT IS it to be macho? Hard livin’, hard drinkin’, wine, women and song rabble rousing? Beer and crisps street fighter? Muscle-bound body builder? Leather clad, biker, tough guy?
What then about the ‘subversion’ of traditional images of being ‘macho’ with the tough guy look of beards, moustaches, and leather jackets being a big part of gay male culture? Indeed, can you have machismo without homoeroticism?
And of course being ‘macho’ is only one aspect of the entirety of being male, and for many men it is not a part of their identity at all.
Confronting ideas about masculinity is behind a new exhibition, The Machismo Project by Gary Dempsey and Conall Cary, and curated by Gerald Heffernan, currently running at the 126 Gallery, Commerce House, Flood Street.
The Machismo Project looks the pressures of traditional gender constructs, and raise issues around it, but with a touch of humour. Cary and Dempsey use large scale prints on cast concrete and cut steel, utilising the inherent masculinity of the materials size, strength, and toughness juxtaposed against the surface imagery.
The Machismo Project runs until August 31. Gallery hours are Tuesdays to Saturdays from 1pm to 6pm. See www.126.ie