Here I am. A 101 degree fever, and with Sunday literally being the only day my schedule is free enough to write this, I apologize if this post’s quality suffers
But this week, I browsed the galleries at CSULB, and I found nothing that I enjoyed. I’m sorry. Maybe right now, I’m just a grouchy young punk with a blazing fever, but in all honesty, I could not enjoy this piece. Maybe it wasn’t meant to be enjoyed. Maybe it was meant to make grouchy young males with illnesses have a miserable experience. But whatever the case, here is the piece in question: Toxic Masculinity.
When I saw this, I immediately thought to myself, why was the artist compelled to create this?
At first glance, the piece looks like its meant to provoke the people who go in the art gallery. Yet the message is, oddly enough, a popular one. If you asked the average person “Is it OK for men to beat women as a byproduct of their masculinity?”, I’m almost certain you will unanimously receive a “No” for an answer.
However, the more I analyze this piece, the more I disliked it. It doesn’t really seem to do much except “preach to the crowd” so to speak. Violence against women is almost universally abhorred with “Toxic Masculinity’s” audience. So why the heck does Garcia want to preach to the crowd? Is this artist’s motivation for this piece to be recognized as someone who creates great works?
I believe this is the case, and although this seems like an innocent desire, yet I detest artists who do this. Great art almost NEVER comes from artists who do this. Why Monet paint water lillies so bright and vibrant? Because he had bad vision, yet he felt compelled to share his emotions surrounding water lillies. Why did Van Gogh paint supernovas in starry night? Because he thought it was a cool idea that stars were made up of explosions. I could argue that art has only evolved when people made art with intentions to share what was special to them. When a person tries to create art for the sake of creating great art, they are missing the point of art entirely.
Why did Mr. Miyamoto create Super Mario Bros? Because he wanted to entertain children. Why did the creative people behind the game Bastion choose to narrate the game non-linearly? Because they thought it would be cool if the narrator talked about your actions as if you had determined the outcome of his narrations. I could argue that not a single great piece has ever been created from artists trying to create something great, but rather they were trying to express and idea that was special to them.
To the artist, Gabriel Garcia: Maybe I’m just a punk with a 101 degree fever, but your description for this piece did not say why you inspired to share this piece with the world. It said a cryptic series of undefended statements that, unfortunately, made me dislike the result of what could be the product of your sweat, blood, and tears. I did not feel like I was enjoying art that someone made out of passion, but rather art that someone made to be the “star” of the gallery. I’m sorry I couldn’t bring myself to enjoy Toxic Masculinity.
Please note: Although I did not enjoy the piece, I do not want to tarnish Gabriel Garcia’s reputation as an artist. Upon request, I will gladly take down this critique of Toxic Masculinity.