Joseph Thompson: Fine Art Gallery


Project Title: Manhood and Masculinity

In this project, I explore the subject of manhood and masculinity. Specifically, from a biological stand point, what differentiates men from their sexual counterparts; what traits are innate to men from a biological and evolutionary standpoint, such as competitiveness or dominance; from an anatomical stand point – build, muscle tone, facial sexual dimorphism – and how these traits have been gradually restrained and altered over time and up to contemporary society.

Why do men have thicker bones, broader shoulders? Are these traits, stemming from a primitive age, useless in modern civilisation? Aside from these physical traits of typical masculinity. What are the mental features which distinguish men from women? I plan to explore through colour psychology and symbolism, a range of different colours and combinations that attribute male psychology, e.g., coolness of emotion via cool colours, but on the other end of the spectrum of male temperament, testosterone-induced passion via warm colours.

In my research, I have responded to the works of Da Vinci’s anatomical drawings.  I have made drawings inspired by his scientific dissections of muscles and bones of men; furthermore, I have also to make use of his materials, such as quill pens and chalks. On top of that, I made art in response to STELARC’s biotic limbs and organs, which has helped to pose the question of how important the evolutionary traits of men are in the modern world when considering the integration of technology into our daily lives. This is a major concern in the work industry with labourers losing their jobs to machines – what’s the need for strength when a machine is several times more efficient?