Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Gender Wednesday: Contrast

My absolute favourite body type on a guy is slender and androgynous (like The Boy, around whose ankle I can touch my finger to my thumb)...but I can definitely appreciate the contrast of muscled manly-man vs. pretty pink lace, yes indeedy. (link NSFW...duh.)

Contrast is in fact a huge part of my longtime fascination with androgyny and crossdressing.  I remember seeing k.d. lang perform on tv when I was a kid (on an awards show, I think?); she was wearing a dress, and it looked all kinds of wrong on her.  Initially I mistook her for a guy, actually.  And yet, in male or gender-neutral clothing, k.d. doesn't look male to me.  Her clothes bring out the feminine or masculine aspect of her features depending on what she wears; her face is like an optical illusion, but instead of rabbit/duck it's guy/girl.

For me, the whole flipping-back-and-forth thing makes androgynous optical-illusion-faces endlessly fascinating to look at.  I tried to capture that perfect state of between-ness in this painting:

Girl or boy?

Did I get it right?  Does this painting flip back and forth for you between male and female?  Or does it look only like one or the other to you?

(pssst - it's The Boy in drag.)

1 comment:

  1. I can see the masculinity in the bone structure, especially the jawline, but in a painting the hair and makeup as traditional gender signifiers make it look feminine; I think in general people will respond first to these obvious markers in a painting because not every artist does as good a job with bone structure as you did here.

    Since The Boy likes to pass, he may be pleased to hear that a heterosexual guy thinks his portrait looks cute.