The Victorian/Edwardian eras have long fascinated artist Aaron Smith. For years he has collected vintage photographs of men of the period. To him, these men represent a masculine ideal, if largely a constructed one. Their bearded faces and distinguished attire are spectacular, while their stiff poses and serious expressions belie an existential vulnerability. In each of Smith’s impasto portraits, woozy colors and aggressive surfaces act as a foil to the sitter's stoic pose, reflecting a giddy ambivalence to nostalgia. This work has found support from a convergence of interrelated subcultures including Neo-Dandyism, Bear Culture, as well as Beard and Mustache Enthusiasts. The artist shares a desire to revel in the exaggeration of masculinity's archetypes, mining past forms of male identity in an attempt to free them of any heteronormative constraints.
"Bluey" limited edition giclee print
Limited edition, signed and numbered, giclee print of Aaron Smith's painting "Bluey/Ginger"
Edition of 40, signed and numbered by artist
Printed on archival printing paper
Paper size 24" x 18"