BOSTON, MA.- Space Other presents Andrew Mowbray: Bathyscope, on view through June 30, 2007. What does it mean to "be a man"? Although gender relations have an impact on almost everything we do, the critical study of men and masculinity is a relatively new development. While it is recognized that males tend to occupy positions of advantage in patriarchal societies, there are significant variations on the notion of masculinity even within western society. Over the past 4 years, Andrew Mowbray has gradually focused on the development of performative alter egos that embody the artist's quest for insight on contemporary notions of masculinities. These performance works have been central to the development of a body of work that is mostly sculptural, however, it also includes video, photography, and painting.
Andrew Mowbray's performance Walden Pond (2004) established a clear reference to Henry David Thoreau (1817- 1868), an American author, abolitionist, naturalist, transcendentalist, tax resister, and philosopher, who choose to live simply but critically in natural surroundings. Another of Mowbray's performances, Just For Men (2005), after the popular men's hair dye, referenced in a tongue-in-cheek manner a piece by Janine Antoni titled Loving Care, a title she derived from the hair dye for women that shares the name. Just For Men explored the changing roles of men and women in both the domestic and workplace settings, as well as exposed the male struggle with hegemonic masculinity notions in a post- feminist society.
Relying on these and other 'ready-made' sources of masculinities among white, middle-class males of last two American centuries, Mowbray's imagery repository explores the discrepancies and fragmented complex nature of manliness notions, the difficulties of getting past these, and the risk of relying on these constructs as suitable sources for qualitative analysis of gender issues.
Andrew Mowbray was born near Plymouth Massachusetts in 1972. He went on to study sculpture at the Maryland Institute College of Art (BFA, 1995) and at The Cranbrook Art Academy in Michigan (MFA, 1998). Awarded several prestigious grants in New England, Mowbray's works have been exhibited mostly in the Northeast United States, and recently in Minnesota and California. He currently teaches sculpture at Wellesley College.