Taking its name from the Barberini Faun, a masterpiece of Hellenistic Greek sculpture, this group exhibition takes the primary attributes of this artwork as its organizing principles. The overt sensual nature of the Barberini Faun was in keeping with the general qualities of Hellenistic visual culture, which included corporeal eroticism, passionate expressiveness, and high visual drama. Said to be companions of the God Dionysus, fauns or satyrs, represented, among other things, a lustful nature, a feral and uncivilized disposition, as well as being an iconographic representation for male homosexuality.
While Barberini or Totes Masc for Samesies, certainly includes representations of what could be called the “gay gaze” toward the contemporary male nude, the show is by no means exclusive to this, considering, rather, a wide spectrum of “beholder” including artists from within the LGBTQ+ community and beyond. The secondary title Totes Masc for Samesies serves as a whimsical critique and light-hearted deprecation of “hook-up” app banter (re: Masc for Masc and “straight acting seeks same”) regarding sexual preferences and the notions of “masculine” expression.
Barberini or Totes Masc for Samesies is the 2nd in a three-part series of concurrent exhibitions reconsidering the male figure as visual subject.