Thursday, December 2, 2010

Mauro Perucchetti's Modern Heroes

Click for full-size image. More pictures located here.

Although I've recently become a big fan of comic books, one consistent caveat in my ability to enjoy them is their adherence in portraying male characters to a very privileged, restrictive form of masculinity -- namely, "masculine" defined as "white, conventionally abled, middle- or upper-class, and heterosexual." While I've seen numerous in-depth critiques of the portrayal of female characters in comic books (and rightfully so), I haven't seen the related issue of limited variety in images of masculinity addressed as fully or as often, which is one reason I was so interested by this sculpture by Mauro Perucchetti. Because of the confines of its subjects, the work doesn't address issues of race, class, ability, etc. as constructs of normative masculinity in comics. It does, however, provide an alternative reading of one of the fundamental relationships in the DC Comics universe that challenges this pervasive notion in comic-book culture that defines all men as hypermasculine and all masculinity as necessarily heterosexual.

No comments: