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A figure reclining on a bed

What Am I Doing?

Mac Realo

My work strives to challenge, reinvent, and initiate discussion around the standards of masculinity in contemporary society. What does it mean to be a man? How would the world be different if power, aggression, and stoicism weren’t at the top of the list in describing masculinity? What would happen if men allowed themselves to be vulnerable and express emotion? Choosing to share my own investigation of manhood through self portraiture increases vulnerability and dissipates shame in myself; it simultaneously engages the viewer directly, encouraging introspection.

What Am I Doing? The question is twofold in meaning; one explicit and straightforward, the other implicit and personal. The sexuality in the pose is evident by itself, and in combination with the intense repetitions of breathing, it seems obvious that the moaning is indeed exactly what we are thinking. Is it that simple? Stemming from my training to be man enough, I ponder: What type of man moans? What type of man intentionally portrays himself in a conventionally feminine pose? These questions challenge my expectations of masculinity, forcing me to engage the shame within me, allowing for a new definition of manhood to emerge from within.

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