Since the dismantling of the "old boys club",
the cultural evolution in America has made it possible, if not socially
acceptable, for men to take on careers their fathers would not have
dared to consider. More than ever before, one can see men working
as nurses, being stay-at-home dads, and even modeling underwear.
Despite this evolution and the broadening of male identities, the
specific image of a nude man remains taboo in our society - especially
when that image is in public view. For example, the penis of a nude
male figure in "The Ohlone Mural (Oakland, CA) has been vandalized
on multiple occasions. And though the graffiti has been removed
after each defacing, the penis is now permanently obscured.
Why do we Americans experience such visceral reactions to the nude
image of man? And specifically what are men's views of all this?
Struck by these questions, Oakland native Carl Wolf has invited
six male artists to express this taboo for the show that he is curating
at the Esteban Sabar Gallery. While certain works will explore America
and it's reaction to the male figure, others will gaze directly
at the inner workings, the deeper aspects of the male psyche.