The modern mechanisation of conflicts and industrial production have decreased the importance of the human body as a productive or heroic figure, especially changing the function of male societal roles and identities. These changes have been exaggerated by capitalist trends and the marketing of products, such as clothes and cosmetics, which have turned the modern man from a point of production to one of consumption. Accompanied by an increased sexualisation of the male body as a fetish object, proliferated by the media’s objectification of the “perfect” body. Damaging patriarchal tendencies are now damaging to not only the women in society but also the men who enforce them.
These modern pressures are leading men to be much more aware of and critical of their bodies and appearance. Un-yet, toxic masculinity persists in discouraging men to express their emotions, fears or weaknesses in healthy ways. These factors not only contribute to cases of domestic abuse and continued oppression of rights of women and minority groups, but themselves are falling victim to many more cases of mental health and body image issues in young men than ever before.
Brendon’s work has always considered the human condition and the relationships we have with ourselves, others and society as a whole. Being initially inspired by advertising media’s portrayal of the male form and the fetishised masculinity it employs; his work is an ongoing exploration of the uncertainties of masculinity as a social construct. Questioning what it means to be a man in today’s society. Looking through the lens of feminism to highlight the fragilities of the ‘masculine masquerade’. Brendon attempts to challenge toxic masculinity with the expression of emotional feeling and complexity within his work. Using the medium of paint to express a narrative of base emotion and energy, that transcends gender class and race.